From The New York Times:
American intelligence agencies formally named Russia as the “likely” source of the broad hacking of the United States government and private companies, and declared that the operation was “ongoing” nearly a month after it was discovered.
The statement jointly issued Tuesday by four government agencies was a clear rebuke of President Trump’s efforts, in posts on Twitter, to suggest that China was behind the hacking. But inside the intelligence agencies, there are few doubts that Russia is responsible. There has been no information gathered pointing to China, according to people briefed on the material
The Times failed to mention that the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, is a Trump loyalist. So you know that if he could have found any excuse to blame China on behalf of Dear Leader(s), he would have.
Tuesday’s statement was carefully worded, in a nod to Mr. Trump’s personal skepticism of Russian culpability.
The good news is that as of now, the task force says it believes that the hacking was “merely” espionage, i.e. intelligence gathering, and not an attempt to disrupt or destroy networks. However, as The Times noted, “both government and private officials have said they are still discovering the scope of the intrusions, and it may take months to figure out whether Russia or others may make more malicious use of ‘back doors’ they placed in the systems."
The better news is that Joe Biden will soon be in charge of the response. More from The Times:
But however carefully worded, the formal conclusion sets the stage for retaliation, most likely by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. after he takes office. Mr. Biden, unlike Mr. Trump, has declared that whoever was behind the operation would pay a steep price.
January 20th can’t come fast enough!