In a major cybersecurity breach, Russian hackers broke into the networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and accessed a database containing research conducted on GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump.
The Washington Post first broke the news Tuesday. The Post also reported that the hackers compromised all email and even chat traffic within the DNC’s secured system.
The allegations of Russian hacking into US political systems is not new; Russian cyber-criminals have gone after key government mainstays all the way up to the White House. This time around, two separate hacker groups gained access and monitored all DNC communication and internal memos since last summer.
Cyber firm CrowdStrike was called in to handle the breach and they’ve dubbed the two Russian outfits as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear.” According to CrowdStrike’s co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch, Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear have hacked into government agencies and defense contractors around the world.
The two groups of Russian hackers do not work in tandem, according to Alperovitch. He told the Post that he believes that Fancy Bear is affiliated with Russia’s military intelligence service, while Cozy Bear is likely linked to the Federal Security Service or FSB – once headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There’s an amazing adversarial relationship among the Russian intelligence agencies,” said Alperovitch. “We have seen them steal assets from one another, refuse to collaborate. They’re all vying for power, to sell Putin on how good they are.”