Earlier this month a report from The New York Times was the first to reveal that the Biden administration is planning a series cyberattacks targeting Russia in the "coming weeks".
Anonymous senior US officials told the Times that a "series of clandestine actions across Russian networks" will be done in such a way as to be "evident to President Vladimir Putin and his intelligence services and military but not to the wider world." It's also expected to come alongside new anti-Russia sanctions.
Naturally, the first question people asked was why announce in advance a "surprise" cyberattack against an "enemy"? Or as Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist put it... "What idiot pre-announces a cyberattack?"
The Telegraph followed up in its latest reporting as follows:
The attack, which is expected in the next fortnight, is in retaliation for the SolarWinds hack, the large-scale infiltration of American government agencies and corporations discovered late last year that was traced back to the Kremlin.
The White House confirmed it will take "a mix of actions" - both "seen and unseen" - although it did not provide specifics on when and how it would do so.
But it appears nothing will really be "unseen" given the administration clearly conducted a pre-planned "leak" to the Times starting two weeks ago, meant perhaps as a 'warning' and threat to Russia of what's to come in response to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) findings recently out alleging that Russia 'interfered' via various cyber intrusions and attacks in the 2020 elections.
Or ultimately it's just Biden seeking to appear "tough" for his domestic base which generally went all in when it comes to all things 'Russiagate' and the continuing spin-off claims. Biden, after all, has to always being "doing something" against those pesky and nefarious Russians.
Leading Russiagate disinformation agent claims on top influence network that Trump's COVID-19 response was potentially infiltrated by Russian intelligence via ex-HHS spox Michael Caputo, and that DOJ should— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 19, 2021
investigate. She closes with surprising lucidity: "This is nutty stuff." pic.twitter.com/2HjpPaaENu
Within the past days US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed the imminent US cyber-action. "I actually believe that a set of measures that are understood by the Russians, but may not be visible to the broader world, are actually likely to be the most effective measures in terms of clarifying what the United States believes are in bounds and out of bounds, and what we are prepared to do in response," he said.
No doubt, the Kremlin is currently preparing and on high alert in expectation of such US 'dirty tricks' targeting sensitive state networks, which the Biden administration has further indicated will "not target civilian structures or networks".
Previously the Kremlin slammed the impending US action as "pure international cybercrime". Tensions rose further last week with Biden and Putin's latest and unprecedented tit-for-tat statements, with Biden agreeing that the Russian president is "a killer" and Putin firing back that the US leader is engaged in "psychological projection". Thus Biden is in fact describing himself, according to Putin's response in a televised address days ago.