Russian Hacker Confesses to Hacking DNC’s Computer System in 2016

A hacker by the name of Konstantin Kozlovsky has confessed in court to being hired by Russian state intelligence to hack the computer systems at the 2016 Democratic National Congress, according to a report published on the Russian website The Bell on Monday. The site is notorious for being critical of Vladimir Putin, as wells the corruption endured during his time in office, but the consequences of a testimony such as this are potentially explosive.

According to the report, Kozlovsky had admitted to carrying out the attacks on behalf of several government organizations, most notably the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, also known as the FSB. The FSB, who counts surveillance among its main responsibilities, is the successor to the KGB from back in the Soviet days. To add further fuel to the fire, Vladimir Putin himself became the Director of the FSB back 1999, a position he held for eight months before being appointed acting Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation by then-President Boris Yeltsin, so it’s safe to say he would still have some pretty close ties inside.

Koslovsky claims that he had reported to FSB Major-General Dmitry Dokuchayev since 2008 for various tasks, but he testified that Dokuchayev had instructed him to attack the DNC’s servers for the purpose of manipulating the US electoral process in 2016. Koslovsky had been arrested earlier in the year as part of an investigation into a group of hackers who had used a virus called Lurk to steal over $50 million from Russian bank accounts since the beginning of last year and his testimony was made during a court hearing on August 15 as to whether his pre-trial detention should be extended or not. The Bell even cites Koslovsky’s own Facebook page for the written court transcript, with the audio recording of the hearing being available on SoundCloud.

As for Dokuchayev, he is currently in prison for treason as a result of passing similar information to foreign agencies and it is unclear from The Bell report as to whether Koslovsky was detained. What is clear, however, is that this is a first-hand account of Russian meddling in the 2016 election that contradicts Putin’s denial of any involvement, an account that President Trump believes over the reports of four US intelligence agencies that all came to the opposite conclusion.

Featured image via Steffen Kugler / BPA via Getty Images