The revelation that Russian hackers broke into U.S. computer systems and used the information to meddle the U.S. elections may have come from Dutch intelligence services, Dutch media reported today.
The Vokskrant newspaper reported that Dutch intelligence officials were able to breach Russian hacker networks in 2014 and monitored their activities, undetected, for up to two and a half years. The Dutch subsequently, were able to watch Russian hackers break into the computer systems of the DNC.
Officials with the Netherland’s General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), and Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) broke into networks used the cyber espionage group known to the U.S. intelligence community as “Cozy Bear.” AIVD and MIVD were able to spy on the group, determining the location of their operations and were even able to capture the hackers on film, according to reports.
The reports were the result of joint investigation conducted by Vokskrant and Nieuwsuur, a Dutch current affairs program. The information passed to the FBI from the Dutch has been described as “crucial” to the FBI’s understanding of Russia’s activities and to the forming of their own investigation and subsequent activities.