It has been widely argued that the leaked Hillary campaign emails were a major impediment to her campaign, and may have further helped hand the Presidency to Donald Trump. While this is debatable, it surely did not help the beleaguered Clinton campaign.
At the time of the ‘Russian’ hacking attack against DNC servers, however, Dutch spies are reported to have already infiltrated the group. Indeed, agents of the Netherlands even have video recordings of the various groups attempting to hack various servers from the Cozy Bear headquarters. They even recorded the faces of some of the hackers. All these were turned over to the United States government, and President Barack Obama was made aware.
The information gathered by the Dutch since 2014 has been extremely important evidence for the United States’ investigation into the claims of Russian influence campaigns, according to Nieuwsuur and Volkskrant.
The DNC did not discover that it had been hacked until June 24, 2016, only a few months away from the election. By then, the damage was done, and information about the corrupt happenings at the DNC had already become public knowledge.
The hack, discovered by the questionably-run IT firm CrowdStrike, was identified by CrowdStrike as originating in Russia and being performed by two ‘sophisticated’ organizations – COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR.
The Chief Technical Officer of CrowdStrike even went so far as to say that COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR were among the most sophisticated organizations in the hacking world and that they were the direst of the “criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups” on the internet.
It would only make sense, then, that the Dutch, who have been at odds with the Russian government for generations, would be so interested in getting eyes on their hackers and their state-sponsored hacking outfits. Dutch intelligence agency AIVD (in English, the General Intelligence and Security Service) managed to infiltrate the group in 2014.
According to media reports in the Netherlands, the Dutch AIVD first managed to hack into Cozy Bear, which was hidden in a University building on Moscow’s infamous Red Square, achieving this mission in the summer of 2014. The Dutch AIVD hacked into a security camera in the facility and learned much from it.
For example, they learned that there were 10 people operating in the facility at any given time for Cozy Bear, and they even managed to take pictures of all visitors to the facility, which they compared to pictures of known spies.
In November 2014, the Dutch tipped off the United States government about a planned attack on the State Department and its servers. This resulted in a 24-hour long battle between American and Russian intelligence, which eventually resulted in the Russian cyber-invaders being beaten back.
The Dutch AIVD also alerted U.S. intelligence agencies that Cozy Bear and its Russian co-conspirators had managed to gain access to White House email servers. They accomplished this by sending a phishing email to a White House worker, who clicked the link, not recalling their internet security briefings.
According to the Dutch AIVD and reports it has issued, there is no longer ongoing infiltration of Cozy Bear, but the AIVD did manage to hack the organization when it most mattered. They also helped the United States government by informing them that a Russian-connected hacking organization was mobilizing against them.
However, that is not to say that the hacking of DNC emails did not present American citizens, and especially Democrat voters, with information that they deserved to be privy to. The DNC, in particular, was obviously biased in how it ran, and it cost them votes.
As the Mueller investigation continues, American citizens are learning more with each passing day about the real collusion that seems to have occurred in the American government. Collusion, which included protection of a candidate from any penalty for wrongdoing she committed.
While Russian outside influence may have played some small part in allowing the American people greater insight into the doings of their candidate and political party, there is no evidence that there is any sort of ‘collusion’ involved.
Indeed, it is odd that WikiLeaks and a Russian hacktivist organization had to do the kind of work that used to be performed by the media. A story of collusion by a political party to manipulate its primary system to undermine a popular candidate used to be the kind of story that made an investigative reporter’s career!
American citizens deserve to know the truth about their elected officials, their motivations, and their actions. However that information comes about, it should be welcomed.