The FBI is investigating a massive breach of the Democratic National Committee’s computers, which sources and experts say was likely the work of government hackers in Russia, ABC News reports. Not only did the hack apparently allow the cyber operatives to steal opposition research on Republican nominee Donald Trump, but also, many suspect, it led to the theft of internal messages that show efforts by DNC officials to undermine Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders during the primary season. Those damaging emails have been released by WikiLeaks, agitating Sanders supporters at the start of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia and prompting DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign.
“The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the FBI said. “A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.” For weeks, the FBI had been unwilling to confirm it was looking into the hack, or even that such a hack had taken place, as the Washington Post reported in June. A cybersecurity firm working with the DNC said at the time that the DNC was hacked by “two separate Russian intelligence agencies.” Dmitri Alperovitch, a co-founder of firm CrowdStrike, told ABC News in June he knew “definitively” that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, was behind the cyber attack and that he was “less confident in but [had] reason to believe” Russia’s Federal Security Service also took part. The Russian Embassy denied the allegations.