Russia’s government has said it is preparing to use cyberattacks to influence the U.S. election, the first indication of the Kremlin’s intention to meddle with the 2016 presidential election.
In a post on its official Twitter account on Friday, the government’s Federal Security Service said it had obtained “a high-level order” from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that would “undertake a broad-ranging investigation into the activity of the US-based political and social networks” that had been active in 2016.
It said the order, which did not specify the type of cyberattack, would be issued “in accordance with a broad mandate” issued in July to “target the US presidential election process”.
In the post, which was sent to Russian Twitter users, the FSB said it “seeks to influence American citizens, their political groups and their private networks, and to conduct cyber-attacks in the interests of the Russian Federation”.
Russia’s security service has not said who the US is believed to be seeking to target.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for a full investigation into alleged interference by the Trump campaign in the 2016 US election.
The Kremlin has also accused the United States of using cyberattacks as a tool to discredit the Russian government.
Russia has also said the U-S.
government is using cyber-weapons against Russia and accused Washington of being a threat to the world.
In March, US intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow had meddled in the presidential election to help Trump win, a conclusion that prompted Trump to fire the FBI director and seek to fire Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Russia denied any meddling in the election, but US officials have said it has been widely believed to have been behind a series of cyberattacks and cyber-weaponized malware.