MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has uncovered and thwarted attempts by the United States to carry out cyber attacks on the control systems of Russian infrastructure, Russian news agencies cited an unnamed security source as saying on Monday.
The disclosure was made on Russia’s RIA and TASS news agencies days after the New York Times cited unnamed government sources as saying that the United States had inserted potentially disruptive computer code into Russia’s power grid as part of a more aggressive deployment of its cyber tools.
The newspaper suggested President Donald Trump had not been informed of the intrusions. Trump, without providing evidence, said on Twitter that the article was not true.
The Kremlin had said earlier on Monday that the U.S. newspaper report was worrying and showed that a cyber war was, in theory, possible.
“We see and note such attempts,” the Russian security source was quoted as saying in response to the report. “However, we manage to neutralize these actions.”
Foreign intelligence services have stepped up cyber attacks against Russia in recent years and are targeting mainly transport, banking and energy infrastructure, the source told TASS and RIA.
Russia-U.S. relations are at post-Cold War lows, strained in particular by U.S. allegations that Moscow hacked and meddled in order to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. Moscow denies those allegations.
When asked about the New York Times report earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “...Undoubtedly this information shows the hypothetical possibility... and all signs of cyber war and military cyber action against the Russian Federation.”
Peskov said unnamed strategic parts of the Russian economy had endured foreign cyber attacks many times in the past and that the authorities were constantly working to try to keep the economy and what he called sensitive parts of its safe.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Andrey Kuzmin; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn