WASHINGTON, November 20 (Sputnik) — The United States is publicly engaged in defensive activities to prevent and detect cyber-attacks from foreign states, but is not involved in planning or conducting any offensive cyber-activity against the Russian government, former 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow has said.
"To the best of my knowledge, the United States government does not launch cyber-attacks on the Russian government," Zelikow stated at a Wednesday panel discussion in Washington DC when asked about US offensive capabilities in the cyber-domain.
"It [the United States] does not attempt to commit acts of war, it does not attempt to do physical damage to anyone or anything in Russia using cyber," Zelikow added, explaining that cyber-crime falls under three general categories: common theft, espionage, and acts of war.
Sputnik asked former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matt Olsen, to verify the claims by Zelikow that the United States had not and currently does not launch cyber-attacks against Russia but received no comments on the subject.
A number of US espionage programs in the cyber-domain have been exposed by former US National Security Agency (NSA) contract Edward Snowden, however, very little information regarding US offensive capabilities has been confirmed publicly by US officials.