U.S. Cyber Command is reportedly going on offense against Russia's power grid by placing "potentially crippling malware" in its systems, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The cyber incursions, authorized to Cyber Command under new authorities that do not require presidential approval, have gotten more "aggressive" and seem to be a warning that the U.S. can respond to Moscow's past cyberattacks, such as the 2016 incursion into the Democratic National Committee and its attack on Ukraine's power grid.

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In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.

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The United States pioneered the use of cyber weapons when it shattered Iran’s nuclear centrifuges in 2010 but such devastating tools have spread and are now boomeranging to make industrial digital sabotage a growing concern to the United States.

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Photo via White House/Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons

The National Security Agency infected key Russian networks with remotely-controlled "implants" that would cause "pain and discomfort" if they are ever used, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

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