A Russian hacker has reportedly confessed that Russia’s state intelligence agency ordered him to hack the Democratic National Committee’s servers during the 2016 US presidential election. The hacker, Konstantin Kozlovsky, reportedly testified in court to carrying out the attacks at the request of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), considered to be the successor of the Soviet security agency the KGB. During the election campaign, hackers stole thousands of private DNC emails that were later steadily leaked by WikiLeaks in the months leading up to the November election, drawing heavy scrutiny and media attention. US intelligence agencies concluded earlier this year that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a complex influence campaign to help sway the election in Donald Trump’s favour using leaks, cyberattacks, a disinformation campaign and more. Putin has vehemently denied any involvement in the DNC hack or influencing the electoral process of another nation.
Kozlovsky’s testimony marks the first time a hacker has claimed to have carried out the attack under the orders of the FSB.
According to independent Russian media website The Bell, Kozlovsky confessed in Moscow City Court on 15 August, Fortune reported. He was arrested together with a group of hackers earlier this year over a cyberheist involving the “Lurk” virus.
He is currently facing charges over a cybercrime case that saw the theft of over 3 billion rubles (about $50m, £38m) from Russian banks since the beginning of 2016.