Dutch intelligence reportedly hacked elite Russian APT

On January 25, the Dutch media reported that during 2014 the local intelligence service AIVD managed to penetrate the computer network of the Russian hacker group APT29, also known as Cozy Bear. The infiltration of said IT infrastructure, located in the university premises near Red Square, allowed a long-term monitoring of the group's activities, including cyber attack on the US National Democratic Committee. AIVD was also able to obtain information about APT29's personnel via a compromised camera system in the building.

The information shared by the Dutch intelligence with their US counterparts supposedly serves as crucial evidence about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The currently conducted investigation of the pre-election Russian influence, led by special counsel Robert Mueller since May 2017, should also clarify whether Donald Trump actively supported Russian activities against the Democrats. The effort was facilitated by the social media which served as a channel for Russian propaganda, has already resulted in the prosecution of several Trump's associates, including lobbyist Paul Manafort, who led his presidential campaign. Aside from the aforementioned case, APT29 is also suspected of a number of politically motivated cyber attacks promoting the strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

About author: Roman Šulc

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