In the coming weeks, Washington is set to launch cyber operations against the Russian Federation as a response to the efforts by Russian hackers aimed against U.S. digital infrastructure.

That's according to the New York Times referring to a number of U.S. officials.

The U.S. will conduct covert operations targeting Russian networks in the next three weeks, sources claim. They should be obvious to the Russian armed forces, intelligence agencies, and President Vladimir Putin, but not to the general public.

Officials said these actions will be combined with certain sanctions set to be imposed on Russia, as well as U.S. measures to strengthen security of own networks.

Read alsoRussia poses "existential threat" to U.S. – PentagonAt the same time, the US is considering the possibility of a similar confrontation with China. Chinese hackers are suspected of attacking Microsoft's email servers.

According to Microsoft, hackers tried to gain access to information from American universities, Pentagon contractors, scientific institutions involved in infectious disease studies, as well as law firms.

Earlier, Microsoft accused the Russian foreign intelligence service of a similar attack.

SolarWinds: Background

Almost all U.S. government agencies were affected by a massive cyberattack in December 2020. The hack occurred through the SolarWinds Orion Platform product management system update server (its versions 2019.4 - 2020.2.1 HF1), as reported on the NSDC's website.

The attack is linked to the activities of the APT29, or Cozy Bear, hacker group, believed to be affiliated with Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service.