Russia rejected a report that its government had been involved in hacking a non-classified White House computer network.
“It has become a kind of sport to blame everything on Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday. “But the key thing is that they wouldn’t go searching for Russian submarines in the Potomac river, like it was the case in some other countries.”
Peskov was responding to a CNN report on Tuesday that said Russian hackers gained access to “sensitive parts of the White House e-mail system,” citing unidentified sources. Deputy White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said on CNN that no classified information had been compromised, while declining to link any attacks to Russia.
Tensions between Russia and the U.S. are at their highest since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions after accusing Russia of sending troops and weapons to separatists in eastern Ukraine, an accusation rejected by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia is “not inclined to demonize anyone” and is ready to cooperate with the U.S. on global issues, Peskov said. There are sometimes thousands of daily cyberattacks on Russian government websites, he said.
The White House said in October that it had identified potentially threatening activity on its computer network and had taken immediate steps to address it. At the time, two U.S. officials who sought anonymity said cybersecurity specialists suspected that Russian government or criminal hackers were responsible for the intrusion.
Mark Stroh, a White House National Security Council spokesman, said in an e-mail Tuesday that CNN’s report didn’t refer to any new incident.