Tags: Russia | michael hayden | russia | election | meddling | covert mission

Hayden: Russia Meddling 'Most Successful Covert Operation in History'

Image: Hayden: Russia Meddling 'Most Successful Covert Operation in History'
Gen. Michael Hayden (AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 21 Jul 2017 07:45 PM

Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden described Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as "the most successful covert operation in history," Yahoo News reported Friday.

During a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Conference, Hayden joked that from an intelligence perspective, Russia's cyberattack and email hack on the Democratic National Committee was "honorable state espionage."

When questioned further if Russia's release of the emails to WikiLeaks qualified as "honorable state espionage," Hayden drew a distinction between hacking computer systems and the release of information found.

"If we as NSA could have an insight into... Russia through the same techniques, game on," Hayden said. "But now you make the great distinction: What the Russians then did with the information. And then that turned [it] into what we call a covert influence operation."

"This is, at its heart, not a cyber issue. At its heart, this is a Russia issue.... The cyber thing was a preliminary action in order to get some raw materials... but that's not what made this different. That's not what made this egregious," he added.

When asked why the U.S. had yet to set a "red line" when it came to cybersecurity, fellow panelist Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush, said the Defense Department had a guideline that called for a response if the issue caused loss of life or grave economic damage.

"The truth is the technology and the techniques that can be used have actually evolved more rapidly than our thinking about it," Chertoff said. "The value of norms would be it would start to create a basis for law-abiding countries to know when they can respond to a cyber act as if it were an act of war."

Lacking a standard of proof, Chertoff said security officials "have to establish a consensus about how much is enough."

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Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden described Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as "the most successful covert operation in history," Yahoo News reported Friday.
michael hayden, russia, election, meddling, covert mission
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2017-45-21
Friday, 21 Jul 2017 07:45 PM
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