The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD spied on the Russian group believed to be behind the hack of the Democratic Party ahead of USA elections, local media reported on Thursday.
USA investigators have reportedly been looking into the hacks and the alleged meddling effort at least since they learned Trump adivser George Papadopoulos, who later pled guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told an Australian diplomat in May 2016 about dirt Russians had on Clinton. Given the purported existence of reams of pictures taken over the course of one to two years showing every person involved in hacking the DNC in 2015, it is odd that no details have come out about precisely who was involved in the SVR intelligence unit (commonly known as either "Cozy Bear" or "APT 29" by security analysts).
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American intelligence agencies' revelations about Russian hackers attempting to sway the 2016 elections in favor of Donald Trump is thanks to a "fluke" breach on the part of Dutch spies, local media has reported.
In a speech at the Aspen Forum in March of 2017, to defend the State Department as "hand-to-hand combat", acknowledging that information on the attack had come from a then-unnamed ally. The information gathered during the surveillance, Modderkolk's sources suggested, was key to the United States intelligence agencies' attribution of the DNC breach to Russian Federation. Cozy Bear is suspected of having ties to the Russian government. Mueller's team has spent the past eight months interviewing members of Trump's campaign and White House staff, and has issued four indictments, with two guilty pleas.
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But the Volksrant report says that intelligence in the Netherlands, which is not part of the "Five Eyes" group of the closest USA intelligence partners, also shared info with the Americans.
According to a report by Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant and broadcaster Nieuwsuur, AIVD was able to hack into a security camera located outside the building, which allowed them to take photos of everyone entering and exiting the facility.
President Trump has dismissed claims of Russian interference to support him, saying that it stems from Democrats' unhappiness at his win. After all, Cozy Bear's attacks on the State Department and the White House were actively fought as soon as they became apparent. "The ally had managed to hack not only the Russians' computers, but also the surveillance cameras inside their workspace, according to the former officials", the Post noted. However, the news outlets reported that Dutch officials were angered by the unnamed sources in the Washington Post report as that may have compromised the Dutch team.
The spying on Cozy Bear lasted between a year to two and a half years, the Dutch media said, adding the AIVD hackers were no longer in the group's network.