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Dutch spies watched Russian hackers attack Democrats

Dutch spies watched Russian hackers attack Democrats

Allowed to root around the DNC unopposed, Cozy Bear could have harvested much of the material released during the 2016 campaign to embarrass Hillary Clinton and her key supporters within the party.

Dutch intelligence services have provided "crucial evidence" to U.S. counterparts about Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, Dutch media reported Friday.

Apparently, the Dutch penetrated a security camera in the corridor leading to the hackers' office, giving the counter-spies a view of everyone who came and went - information that was shared with United States intelligence. 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.

"Access to Cozy Bear turns out to be a goldmine for the Dutch hackers".

One of the claims made is that the Dutch counter-hackers were able to infiltrate a Russian cybergang known as Cozy Bear and keep an eye on them.

"That's how the AIVD became witness to the Russian hackers harassing and penetrating the leaders of the Democratic Party [in 2016]", de Volkskrant newspaper reported in a joint investigation with the Nieuwsuur current affairs program.

"We'd never expected that the Russians would do this, attacking our vital infrastructure and undermining our democracy", Chris Painter, a former cyber official at the U.S. State department, told the publication. AIVD had access to security cameras that recorded who entered and exited the room as well other security cameras around the building located near Red Square, where the Cozy Bear operations took place.

AIVD also reportedly alerted US authorities about Russia's attack on the US State Department's unclassified computers in 2014.

Officials later told The Post that the NSA had been alerted to the hacks by an unnamed Western intelligence agency. But they also came to trust their American counterparts less.

Thursday's reports indicated for the first time that the ally which alerted the United States may have been the Netherlands. That leak upset Dutch officials who felt their American counterparts had betrayed their trust, according to Thursday's reports. Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who's doing it. Pictures are taken of every visitor. Both Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin have denied collusion.

"If the Dutch media want to fuel anti-Russian hysteria in the USA, it's an activity that can't be called honorable", Peskov told the Associated Press. "I can not not go into causation", Dutch Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren told Nieuwsuur, according to a translation.

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