Speed Reads

Russian Hacking

Russian hacker says he can prove Kremlin ordered DNC hack

In an interview with an independent Moscow-based television channel, jailed Russian computer hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky said he was ordered by the Kremlin to hack the Democratic National Committee computers during the 2016 presidential campaign, and he can prove it.

Kozlovsky said he worked with the Russian intelligence agency FSB, and because he was worried his minders might turn on him, he left behind a "poison pill" during the DNC hack — his passport number and other personal information hidden in a .dat file. Kozlovsky was jailed earlier this year, accused of being part of a hacking group that stole more than $50 million from Russian bank accounts, and earlier this month, he posted to his Facebook page a transcript and audio recording of what he said was his confession to the DNC hacking, made in court on Aug. 15.

Kozlovsky told RAIN-TV he developed computer viruses for the FSB, which they first tested on unsuspecting Russian companies. He said he worked mostly from home, didn't know much about the other hackers, and was part of a larger effort to spread viruses across the private sector and in different countries. It won't be easy to prove if Kozlovsky was behind the hack, McClatchy DC notes, because so few people know the details of it. The tech firm hired by the DNC to investigate the cyber attack, CrowdStrike, has said it discovered Russians were behind the hack, but did not comment on Kozlovsky's claims.