Yahoo News recently dropped an explosive report stating that the Russian government hacked into the FBI to stop the bureau from being able to track Russian spies currently working in the US.
The report said that in 2012, the US became privy to the “full gravity” of Russia’s ability and intent to hack into secure communications and ultimately track and spy on FBI surveillance teams. At that time, they became fearful that Russia may have already breached certain US intelligence channels and that they could locate undercover FBI teams, thereby uncovering the substance of FBI communications.
That would mean Russians would have been able to avoid US surveillance and at the same time collect pertinent information about their pursuers. Yahoo News reported that concerns were also raised that there might be a Russian asset hidden among the US intelligence community.
Yahoo News reported that the first Russian breach of the FBI communication system came in 2010, after a group of Russian spies were arrested and exposed. That same year, the FBI began an investigation into a Russian backed effort to cultivate US recruits, in particular Carter Page, who would later go on to serve in President Donald Trump’s campaign.
The FBI later told Page that the Russians were after him but Page ignored their warnings and even went on to brag about his connections to Russian government.
The Yahoo news report said that a former senior counterintelligence official said that Russians had also managed a breach in the FBI’s backup communications channels, as well, and that it was something the US “took extremely seriously.”
In fact, the investigation revealed that the main reason that Obama had 35 Russian diplomats removed from the country and closed two Russian diplomatic facilities back in 2016 was the knowledge of Russia’s hack into the FBI.
At the time, Obama said those actions were because of Russia’s interference into the 2016 election, but the Yahoo report reveals that the US also wanted to close the two compounds because they were critical structures in Russia’s plan to intercept FBI communications.
As tensions between the US and Russia have escalated, so has counterintelligence and cybersecurity between them, with the US targeting Russia’s electrical grid, meant to serve as a stern warning, and putting “crippling malware” into the Russian system, says the New York Times.
Trump’s constant mishandling of classified information should be of extreme concern, as well. CNN reported recently that Trump’s frivolous disclosure of classified information during an Oval Office meeting with two Russian officials led the US to remove a top secret source in Russian because of safety concerns.