Dutch Spies Caught Russian Hackers on Tape

Dutch team infiltrated Russian hacker group, witnessing US election meddling, DNC attack: report

Dutch intelligence agency spied on and took photos of Russia-linked Cozy Bear hackers

Dutch intelligence services hacked Russian cyber attackers and alerted USA counterparts after watching them transfer "thousands" of Democratic Party emails ahead of the 2016 United States election, Dutch media reported on Friday.

According to the report, the Dutch intelligence agency also likely contributed to the FBI's investigation into Russia's alleged attempt to influence the 2016 United States election.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he had yet to see any official comment from the Dutch intelligence services on the matter.

A new report sheds light on why U.S. intelligence has been so confident Russian Federation tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

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Agents with the AIVD gained access to the group's headquarters and between 2014 and 2017 passed along information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, the report said.

Russia's hacking attacks not only targeted the United States but have also had major repercussions in Europe, where intelligence agencies have scrambled to stop Russian interference.

Their camera access was said to add to evidence that the hacks from the group were backed by Russia's Foreign Intelligence Agency.

AIVD reportedly alerted the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA about Cozy Bear's hacking activities throughout the 2016 election. 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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The other important question that arises from the Dutch story is, if the US had specific evidence of the breach and earlier APT 29 efforts, as well as pictures from the security camera at the group's "office", why aren't there any indictments of Russian officials and hackers. For years, it supplies them with valuable intelligence about targets, methods and the interests of the highest ranking officials of the Russian security service.

The exact timing of when the Dutch lost access to the Russian network is unclear, though the Volksrant report says that the AIVD that they watched hacks on Democratic leaders.

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.

Earlier in November 2014, the Dutch also alerted the U.S. to a Cozy Bear attack on the State Department, the daily added.

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Netherland's Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) - a joint unit of Dutch intelligence agencies AIVD and MIVD, reportedly found that Cozy Bear's headquarters was a university building near the Red Square.

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