The White House is considering launching an unprecedented cyber attack against Russia in retaliation for their alleged interference in the US election, intelligence officials say.
Current and former officials have said that the CIA has been asked to deliver options for “clandestine” cyber operations designed to “embarrass” the Russian government.
The anonymous officials told NBC News the CIA were already operating cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.
The source said they had already gathered information that could potentially expose wrongdoing by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It follows repeated alleged attempts by Russian state-backed hacking groups which have resulted in the leak of thousands of emails sent by senior members of the Democratic party.
A hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 released thousands of emails sent between senior members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) days before their conference in July where they discussed ways to undermine the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders. It led to the resignation of the DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.