Soon after formally accusing Russia of trying to interfere in the upcoming US presidential election, the latter has vowed to take appropriate action at its chosen time. A senior White House official said that the country will respond when it is time to protect its own interests.

"We will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing," a senior administration official told Agence France Presse on Friday (7 October). "The public should not assume that they will necessarily know what actions have been taken or what actions we will take," the person added.

Earlier in the day, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security issued a joint statement accusing high-ranking Kremlin officials of authorising cyberattacks on US political parties.

The statement said that the series of email hacks, leaked to and WikiLeaks by an online entity referred to as Guccifer 2.0, were aimed at intervening in the 8 November presidential election.

"We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," the statement reportedly read.

Although Russia has dismissed the allegations, terming them "rubbish", US political parties have demanded strict action against Moscow.

"Russia must face serious consequences," Republican Senator Ben Sasse told the news agency. "Moscow orchestrated these hacks because Putin believes Soviet-style aggression is worth it. The United States must upend Putin's calculus with a strong diplomatic, political, cyber and economic response," he added.

Democrat Dianne Feinstein, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that "it's critical" to convince the Russian government to put an end to such activities. "If it does not, we must develop a strong response," he noted.

Barack Obama
A senior US government official said that the country will take action against Russian cyberattacks at a time and place of its own choosing - File photo Reuters/Yuri Gripas