The United States has been conducting “offensive cyber operations” to defend next week’s midterm elections, though it was “too soon to tell” whether they are having an effect, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday.
Though Bolton did not specify the operation’s nature, U.S. Cyber Command has begun signaling to Russian operatives that their identities are known — an implicit warning not to attempt to disrupt American politics. The Washington Post and other media reported on those developmentslast week.
The offensive cyber actions were aimed at “defending the integrity of our electoral process . . . and our adversaries [had] better know that and better understand that,” said Bolton, speaking in Washington at an event sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Society.
.. Brett Bruen, a former National Security Council official who has worked on countering Russian disinformation, called signaling “a pretty ineffective” warning shot. “What we have seen over recent months have been largely superficial steps, mostly for domestic consumption, to be able to say that we are doing something,” he said.