US President Donald Trump on Monday slammed the NYT report as "Fake News", demanding that the media outlet "immediately release their sources".
The story in the @nytimes about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is Fake News, and the Failing New York Times knows it. They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony. Times must be held fully accountable!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 18 июня 2019 г.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking source from a Russian law enforcement agency said Monday, commenting on the New York Times story, that Moscow has been registering attempts by US security services to conduct cyberattacks against Russian infrastructure control systems.
The Russian source said that, in recent years foreign security services had been trying to hack Russian infrastructure control systems with increasing activity, primarily in the transport, banking and energy industries.
“We see and register such attempts. However, we manage to neutralize these actions,” he said.
When asked if the attempts could be called elements of a cyberwar, the source answered in the affirmative.
Trump refuted the NYT report earlier, suggesting that the story came close to amounting to treason. The media outlet’s press service asserted that Trump’s remarks were "dangerous."
“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous. We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns”, the press service tweeted on Sunday.
Trump has regularly accused leading US media outlets of spreading what he refers to as 'fake news' that began targeting him during the 2016 election campaign and continued after he became the 45th US president.
Last week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the US was taking a broader view of potential digital targets to warn Russia - and any other actor interested in committing cyberattacks against the North American country - that there would be repercussions to such actions.
Last summer, Trump issued new authority to the Pentagon's Cyber Command, the US branch that runs the military's offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace, providing the agency more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without requesting approval from the president, making offensive cyberspace activities akin to traditional military operations in real space.