During the 2016 presidential election campaign, according to special counsel Robert Mueller, Russian intelligence services conducted an extensive “cyber intrusion” into Democratic National Committee computer servers, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign servers. Mueller’s report — posted online via The New York Times — stated that the hacking attacks were part of Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack on the 2016 election, to help the candidacy of Donald Trump and damage Clinton’s.
Now, three years after the massive Russian cyberattack on the United States election — an attack that continues and is now aimed at tampering with the 2020 presidential election, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report — one of Russia’s top spymasters says that Russia and the United States are now working together on cybersecurity.
“There are many issues we are discussing with the Americans, particularly in the domain of ensuring information security, cyber security,” Alexander Bortnikov, the chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) told the Russian news agency TASS, in a report published on Thursday.
Bortnikov said that the cybersecurity issues between Russia and the U.S. were now being “hashed over” and “we are restoring these ties” between the two countries, as quoted by the TASS report.
A surprise announcement from the Russian news service, TASS: According to the FSB in Russia, the US government has now agreed to carrying out joint cyber operations with Russian intelligence.
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) October 18, 2019
The FSB is the successor organization to the Soviet Union’s feared KGB, the secret police organization in which Russia’s current president, Vladimir Putin, served as an officer from 1975 to 1991, around the time that the Soviet Union fell apart, breaking into numerous countries, including present-day Russia.
The surprise announcement that Russia and the victim of its 2016 cyberattack, the United States, are now working together on cybersecurity came just one day after Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Trump during a White House meeting that “All roads with you lead to Putin,” as The Inquisitr reported.
As far back as 2017, just months after the Russian cyberattack that allegedly played a role in putting Trump in the White House, the president mentioned via Twitter that he and Putin had discussed cooperating to create “an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking & many other negative things, will be guarded … and safe,” as quoted by Politico.
But Politico derided Trump’s announcement as “as one of the most ridiculed ideas in cybersecurity that won’t go away: a joint Russian-American task force to protect future elections from hackers.”
But when Trump and Putin held a summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland, last year, the Russian president himself revived the idea, saying that a “joint working group on cybersecurity” involving both countries would evaluate evidence that Russia had hacked the 2016 election.