Graham: 'It's time for the Russians to pay a price' for cyberattacks

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks MORE (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that Russia should be held responsible for recent cyberattacks on U.S.-based companies.

“Our critical infrastructure is very exposed, and we need to harden it, but more than anything else, we need to go on offense. You can only play defense so long,” Graham said on “Full Court Press With Greta Van Susteren.” “It’s time for the Russians to pay a price here because none of this would happen without their looking the other way or actively encouraging it.” 

Graham added that he doesn’t believe Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine It's well past time for strategic defenses and counterpunches on cybersecurity MORE was directly involved in the hacks despite the hackers having ties to Russia.

“I don’t think he said and told them to hack into the oil pipeline. I think these people live in Russia with impunity. They’re tied to the Russian intelligence services. They’re an extension of the Russian government. They’re one-off. They’re, to me, cyber terrorists living within Russia, attacking our interests,” Graham said.

“What would the response be if there was a terrorist organization living in a country actively attacking America? Would we be going after that country to help us? That’s exactly what’s happening. Cyber terrorism is emanating from Russia, and we’re not doing a damn thing about it, and that needs to change,” he added.