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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats departs after a classified briefing for the U.S. congressional leadership from FBI and intelligence officials on the FBI probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election held in the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts(reuters_tickers)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned on Friday of a looming devastating cyber assault on critical U.S. infrastructure, saying nearly two decades after the Sept. 11 attacks the "warning lights are blinking red again."
"Today the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack," Coats told a think-tank audience. "Every day foreign actors, the worst offenders being Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, ... are penetrating our digital infrastructure and conducting a range of cyber intrusions and attacks against targets in the United States."
"In regards to state actions, Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question. And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy," he added, comparing the intelligence warning signals to those received ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)