During testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on May 9, 2017, head of both the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), Admiral Mike Rogers, informed the senators that the United States had sent a warning to French government officials that Russia was penetrating French computer systems ahead of the French election on May 7, 2017.

Rogers stated that the U.S. government told the French, “Look, we’re watching the Russians; we’re seeing them penetrate some of your infrastructure.” According to Defense News, “Tens of thousands of internal emails and other documents” were released to the public online in the days running up to the French elections. Cyber research firms reportedly linked the cyberattack on France’s president-elect, Emmanuel Macron, to a group affiliated with Russia. The same group is blamed for interfering in U.S. elections in 2016, according to Defense News.

According to Rogers’ written testimony before the committee, USCYBERCOM has been a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) since its creation in 2009.  USCYBERCOM is set to become a unified combatant command in the near future, which will make it one of the U.S. military‘s handful of major war-fighting commands. That fact speaks to the importance policymakers place on U.S. efforts to combat cyber warfare, and the threat it poses to American national interests.

Rogers pointed out that USCYBERCOM tracks both state and non-state adversaries, as the latter continue to “expand their capabilities to advance their interests in and through cyberspace.” He also stated that these actors continue to try to “undermine the United States’ national interests and those of our allies.”