Dutch spies had eyes on DNC hackers

Hacker with laptop

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.

"If Dutch newspapers want to throw oil on the fire of the anti-Russian hysteria in the United States, that's not the most dignified of activities", Peskov told reporters.

These sources lay out a pretty remarkable narrative about how hackers from AIVD observed Russian agents from the Kremlin's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) going after the DNC, the U.S. State Department, and the Obama White House to pilfer confidential memos and other materials not normally disclosed to the public. Volkskrant said American spies were so grateful they sent the Dutch cake and flowers. By November, the JSCU had infiltrated the Russian network, and accessed the camera, witnessing how, and likely who was involved in a massive cyber attack carried out against the United States.

The AIVD was able to secretly monitor the Cozy Bear group-also known as APT29-and pass on evidence to US intelligence agencies that Russian hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant and current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported on Thursday, January 26.

First, neither Dutch outlet has released independent evidence corroborating their sources' claims. Security officials were able to see who came in and out of the building.




But the questions raised by the Dutch scoop are as significant as the gaps it helps to close.

Mueller's team is seeking to uncover whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia's efforts to sway the election, including leaks of hacked Democratic Party files. If the Dutch witnessed the DNC intrusion in 2015 and reported it to USA colleagues, it's hard to understand why the Russian hackers were left to forage in the DNC network for months without being ejected. One would expect US intelligence to try to prevent that kind of thing.

That confidence is based on "AIVD hackers having had access to the office-like space in the centre of Moscow for years", the Volkskrant said. The Dutch military intelligence service, MIVD, did not respond to a request for comment. Moscow has denied any involvement.

We don't know exactly how the Dutch hacking team took over the camera in this story - it could have been via a security flaw in the camera itself, via the software that controlled the camera, or via some other related compromise on the hackers' network.

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