Washington, July 16: Director of the US's National Intelligence Dan Coats warned recently against the growing threat of cyber-attacks against the US and pinpointed Russia as the "most aggressive foreign actor" which aims to "undermine" the American democracy.
He also said that China, Iran and North Korea were the other offenders, adding that they were targeting the US's digital infrastructure relentlessly to impact the US's national government, state and local governments, military, businesses, etc.
Coats's warning came just days ahead of US President Donald Trump's first summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, July 16.
Speaking at an event in Hudson Institute here on Friday, July 13, Coats, 75, said the Russian threats were persistent and not limited to election time.
"The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. And it is why I believe we are at a critical point," Coats, whose tenure in the top post started in March last year after the Trump administration took over, said.
To explain the gravity of the situation, Coats even compared the warning signs to those that blinked ahead of the September 11 attacks.
The intelligence chief's remarks came on the same day special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian spies on charges of hacking the Democratic Party's networks during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump said he had plans to raise the issue of Russia's alleged meddling in the US elections of 2016 although after the indictment of the Russian agents, the angry Democrats demanded Trump to call off the summit and return home.