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Russia to Obama: Put up or shut up

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan, Friday (Franck Robichon/epa)

The Russian government is firing back at the Obama administration in the escalating war of words over the hacking of former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's email inbox. President Barack Obama, who will leave office in a little over a month, has promised that the United States will retaliate against Russia for their alleged interference with America's election "at a time and place of our choosing."

According to CNN, the Russians are firing back, demanding that the Obama administration provide proof of Russia's involvement in the hack:

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was "indecent" of the United States to "groundlessly" accuse Russia of intervention in the US election campaign, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

"They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly," Peskov reportedly said about the latest accusations that Russia was responsible for hacker attacks.

The virtually unanimous assessment of intelligence agencies is that the hack of Podesta's email inbox originated somewhere in Russia; however, the Russian government disputes that they were actively involved, and FBI Director James Comey has suggested that the hack might have been carried out by a private individual operating from within Russia.

Podesta's email inbox was hacked when he responded to a phishing email requesting that he enter his email credentials. The phishing email itself bore hallmarks of prior Russian espionage attempts and the bit.ly link in the phishing email directed him to a server used by the "Fancy Bear" cyber espionage group, which is widely considered by cyber experts to be affiliated with the Russian FSB. The same "Fancy Bear" group has been implicated in attacks aimed at dissidents in Ukraine and Georgia, as well as military attaches in Western Europe and dissident Russian journalists.

One last thing…
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