Since at least 2010, the Russian state-sponsored hacking group Cozy Bear has been implicated in cyber attacks around the world, penetrating networks belonging to the U.S. State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Democratic National Committee, and targeting other systems around the world from Norway to Brazil. Their targets have often seemingly struggled to keep up with the attacks–the Pentagon in 2015 reportedly took thousands of unclassified email accounts offline for at least 10 days to recover from a hack by the group, and Cozy Bear is said to have had access to DNC systems for about a year before being discovered. But recent reports reveal that the Russian group, believed to be tied to the Russian FSB–an intelligence bureau seen as today’s successor to the Soviet-era KGB–was itself the victim of a startlingly successful hack, carried out by a much smaller nation.
According to a report in de Volkrsrant, a highly regarded daily paper in the Netherlands, Dutch intelligence hackers had gained access to Cozy Bear’s computers in 2014 and remained there for between one and two-and-a-half years. The hackers were reportedly even able to monitor Cozy Bear team members’ comings and goings through a compromised security camera, comparing their images to those of already known Russian spies.
The Netherlands team was significantly ahead of its U.S. counterparts, feeding information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency that helped them cut off Russian servers communicating with malware embedded in State Department machines, per de Volksrant, Russian intelligence agencies have declined to comment on the report.
Full Article: How Dutch Spies Were Able To Outwit Russian Hackers.