Russian hacking: Republican, democratic senators call for joint action

Four powerful U.S. senators have called for Republicans and Democrats to join forces and fight Russian interference in the U.S. political process, saying the "stakes are too high" for the issue to become partisan.

"For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America's physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property," Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said in the statement released Sunday.

"Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American," they added.

RELATED: Notable data breaches

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Notable data breaches in the US
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Notable data breaches in the US
Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are pictured in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: A detail of the Ashley Madison website on August 19, 2015 in London, England. Hackers who stole customer information from the cheating site AshleyMadison.com dumped 9.7 gigabytes of data to the dark web on Tuesday fulfilling a threat to release sensitive information including account details, log-ins and credit card details, if Avid Life Media, the owner of the website didn't take Ashley Madison.com offline permanently. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Katherine Archuleta, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the OPM data breach in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. U.S. senators said yesterday they doubt the government's personnel office understands the breadth of a computer hack that exposed the records of more than 4 million federal workers, or that the agency can stop another breach. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: The entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt Federal Building that houses the Office of Personnel Management headquarters is shown June 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. U.S. investigators have said that at least four million current and former federal employees might have had their personal information stolen by Chinese hackers. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
SCHAUMBURG, IL - AUGUST 04: A statue of a horse stands at the entrance to a P.F. Chang's restaurant on August 4, 2014 in Schaumburg, Illinois. P.F. Chang's China Bistro Ltd. said today that the company experienced a data breach involving customers' credit and debit card information which affected 33 restaurants in 16 states, including the Schaumburg, Illinois location. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - AUGUST 15: Shaws on Congress Street on Friday, July 15, 2014. Shaws parent company is investigating a possible data breach. (Photo by Logan Werlinger/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
COLMA, CA - APRIL 18: Customers enter a Michaels art and crafts store on April 18, 2014 in Colma, California. Michaels, the largest arts and crafts chain in the U.S., announced that an estimated 2.6 million cards used at its stores across the country may have been affected by a security breach. Aaron Brothers, a subsidiary of Michaels, was also affected by the breach. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 28: A checkout keypad is seen at a Sears store on February 28, 2014 in Coral Gables, Florida. According to reports the U.S. Secret Service is investigating a possible digital attack at Sears Holdings Corp. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A couple of shoppers leave a Target store on a rainy afternoon in Alhambra, California on December19, 2013, as the US retail giant said some 40 million customers may have had bank card data compromised by hackers who broke into its database as holiday shopping got underway. Target said there had been 'unauthorized access' to its payment system in US stores affecting credit and debit cards with approximately 40 million credit and debit cards possibly affected by the breach between November 27 and December 15, the company said in a statement. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. Brown (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
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The CIA has concluded that Russia mounted a covert intelligence operation to influence the U.S. election in an effort to help Donald Trump win, a congressional official knowledgeable on the matter told NBC News on Saturday.

But the president-elect has repeatedly said he does not accept the findings of the spy agencies he will soon lead. The spy agency says Russia was behind hacks of Democratic email accounts and other efforts that appeared to harm Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

The four senators warned that "Congress's national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done."

"Democrats and Republicans must work together," they said, adding: "This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country."

RELATED: Obama and Putin at G-20

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President Obama and Putin at G-20
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President Obama and Putin at G-20
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses during his remarks in a news conference at the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference at the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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