Reports Claim Dutch Intelligence Watched Russian Spies Hack the DNC

28 January, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Imago via ZUMA

On Thursday, Dutch media reported that the country's General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) spied on the Russian group believed to be behind the hack of the Democratic Party ahead of the U.S. elections.

The news of how the Dutch intelligence agency provided crucial evidence to the United States of Russia's hacking activities comes from six anonymous American and Dutch sources who are said to be familiar with the material.

After digging themselves by chance into the Russians' computer network run out of a university building near Moscow's Red Square, the Dutch agents also gained access to the security cameras surveilling the room.

Cozy Bear, along with yet another Fancy Bear (APT28) hacking group, are widely considered to be responsible for the cyberattacks targeting the US Democratic Party during the 2016 presidential election.

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Reports by Dutch media that the intelligence services of the Netherlands allegedly provided the United States with information on a hacking group from Russia and its involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are only further fueling the anti-Russian hysteria in the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday. AIVD also compared the photos with the images of known Russian spies to identify potential members of the hacker group, Volkskrant reported.

The Dutch intelligence officials made their way into networks used by cyber espionage group Cozy Bear, also known as APT 29, which has been linked by experts to Russian intelligence, possibly Moscow's Federal Security Service.

The data obtained by Cozy Bear hackers was sent to whistleblowing outlets including WikiLeaks and DCLeaks, before making its way to journalists.

But the Volksrant report says that intelligence in the Netherlands, which is not part of the "Five Eyes" group of the closest US intelligence partners, also shared info with the Americans.

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The FBI and the AIVD were not immediately available for comment. But on Friday, a Russian presidential spokesman dismissed it as adding "fuel to the fire of anti-Russian hysteria".

The JSCU is no longer able to monitor Cozy Bear, but the Dutch news report did not detail why. The AIVD hackers manage to gain access to that camera.

According to Dutch media, AIVD agents also watched when Russian hackers launched an attack on the State Department in 2014 and compromised unclassified systems at the White House as well as in Congress.

Even though the assault was thwarted after a 24-hour cyber battle, one Trojan email did get through, enabling the Russian group to access the White House.

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