Russian Federation is the most aggressive foreign subject, - the US Head of intelligence

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John Podesta, the former chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, reacted to the warning on Saturday, telling CNN's Ana Cabrera, "as the director of national intelligence said, the red lights are blinking, but I think the White House is essentially asleep at the switch".

Coats said that U.S.'s digital infrastructure is under constant attack from foreign entities including China, Iran and North Korea, but he singled out Russian Federation as the "most aggressive" one, highlighting the country's reported efforts to use hacking and information campaigns to influence USA elections.

Of the four, "Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question", he said.

But Coats also warned against having tunnel vision focused on the elections, noting that foreign actors continually target other aspects of US critical infrastructure.

Speaking at the summer conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State in Philadelphia on Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the USA intelligence community does "consistently observe malicious cyber activity from various actors against U.S. election infrastructure", according to prepared remarks released by the department.

He compared the cyber threat today with how USA officials said before 9/11 that intelligence channels were "blinking red" with warning signs that a terror attack was imminent.

Director of the US's National Intelligence Dan Coats warned recently against the growing threat of cyber-attacks against the U.S. and pinpointed Russian Federation as the "most aggressive foreign actor" which aims to "undermine" the American democracy.

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Coats' talk took place within hours of the Department of Justice announcing new indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking into the Democratic National Committee and other election-related entities in the run-up to the 2016 election.

The Kremlin responded to the indictment by repeating its denial that the Russian state interfered in the USA election.

Addressing the criminal activity referenced in the indictment Friday, Mr. Coats said USA officials have not seen any evidence yet of a similar assault potentially affecting the November 2018 midterm elections.

So far, he said, the United States is "not yet seeing the kind of electoral interference in specific states and in voter databases that we experienced in 2016" by the Kremlin.

"However", he added, "we realize we are just one click of the keyboard away from a similar situation repeating itself".

At the same time, he said, some of the same Russian actors who meddled in the 2016 campaign again are using fake social media accounts and other means to spread false information and propaganda to fuel political divisions in the United States, he said. "The system is blinking, and it is why I believe we're at a critical point", he said, warning hackers risk waging a "crippling cyberattack on our critical infrastructure".

"These actions are persistent".

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