Dutch Media Claims About Russian Hackers Only Fuel Anti-Moscow Hysteria

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD spied on the Russian group believed to be behind the hack of the Democratic Party ahead of US elections, local media reported on Thursday.

"Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who's doing it", the Volkskrant said, citing anonymous U.S. and Dutch sources.

"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", the report said.

Commenting on the growing number of foreign states' accusations of alleged attempts by Moscow to "undermine democracy", Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the claims ridiculous, emphasizing that there was no proof that Russian Federation was involved in the election processes of the United States, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom.

The data obtained by Cozy Bear hackers was sent to whistleblowing outlets including WikiLeaks and DCLeaks, before making its way to journalists.

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Information collected by the Dutch Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) was turned over to the NSA, CIA, and FBI, and helped form the basis for the U.S. special counsel investigation examining claims of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election campaign battle between current U.S. President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the Washington Post points out, the report suggests the Netherlands may have been an ally that alerted the United States about possible hacking. Mueller's team has spent the past eight months interviewing members of Trump's campaign and White House staff, and has issued four indictments, with two guilty pleas.

"Not only can the intelligence service now see what the Russians are doing, they can also see who's doing it", said a Dutch newspaper.

According to the report, AIVD's hackers no longer have access to Cozy Bear's computer systems.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov however dismissed the reports Friday, saying Moscow had "never heard or seen anything about such allegations from the Dutch secret services". An information and technology sharing arrangement with the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies resulted in the determination that Cozy Bear's efforts were at least in part being driven by the Russian Federation's leadership-including Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The ally had managed to hack not only the Russians' computers, but also the surveillance cameras inside their workspace, according to the former officials", the Post noted.

"The NSA defenders, aided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, prevailed over the intruders, who were working for a Russian spy agency", the of the US counter-attack, which took over a day to thwart.

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