Despite evidence of Russian hacking into the U.S. election system, President Obama said Monday that he doesn’t want to escalate into a “wild, wild West” cyberwar with Moscow.
Emerging from a 90-minute meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the Russians have been attacking U.S. institutions on the internet.
“We’ve had problems with cyberintrusions from Russia in the past, from other countries in the past,” Mr. Obama said.But he suggested that he didn’t want to retaliate.
“Our goal is not to suddenly in the cyber arena duplicate a cycle of escalation that we saw when it comes to other arms races in the past, but rather to start instituting some norms so that everybody’s acting responsibly,” Mr. Obama said. “What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the wild, wild West, where countries that have significant cybercapacity start engaging in unhealthy competition or conflict through these means.”
U.S. officials said last week that election systems in Illinois and Arizona had been hacked and that Russia was most likely responsible. Russian hackers also have been blamed for intrusions into records of the Democratic National Committee and the House Democrats’ campaign organization.