Dutch intelligence agents spied on a Russian hacker group that has been accused of cybersecurity breaches during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, local media reported Thursday.
The intelligence service AIVD gained access to networks linked to the group “Cozy Bear” as early as 2014, according to an investigation by Dutch media outlets De Volkskrant and Nieuwsuur, citing unnamed intelligence officials in the Netherlands and the U.S.
The Dutch agents monitored the hacker group as it reportedly penetrated the U.S. Democratic National Committee and compromised emails and documents. AIVD passed on information to U.S. agencies, and the report said this provided grounds for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin a probe of possible Russian interference in the election.
Cozy Bear, together with another hacking group called Fancy Bear, are two groups identified by U.S. intelligence agencies as having targeted the 2016 election.
Dutch agents also reportedly gained access to cameras monitoring the ins and outs of the space where the hackers were based, in a university building close to the Red Square in Moscow.
AIVD was not available for comment.