US intelligence officials are preparing a possible cyber attack against Russia in response to Russian hackers' alleged attempts to influence the US election, NBC News reported.
The CIA is preparing options for President Barack Obama for a "clandestine" operation to "embarrass" Moscow, the broadcaster reported, citing unnamed US intelligence officials.
The officials did not provide details about what was under consideration, but said the CIA was already selecting targets and making other preparations, and had gathered information on "unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin," the report said.
The CIA declined to comment on the report on Saturday.
But a senior US official told dpa that Obama "has made it clear that we will take action to protect our interests, including in cyberspace, and we will do so at a time and place of our choosing."
The official stressed the public would not necessarily known when action had been taken or what it would entail.
The US government said this month that the Russian government, possibly at the highest level, had directed recentcompromises of email systems used by US political organizations.
The intrusions include a well-publicized hack of Democratic Party emails in July exposed favouritism within the top echelons of the party for Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.