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Special Forces Likely Behind DNC Hack, Says Former Top KGB Agent

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Only trained special forces could have been behind last year's cyber-attack on the U.S. Democrat Party, the former head of the KGB's analytics department has claimed.

In an interview with Russian magazine Ogonyok, Vladimir Rubanov claimed that “ordinary hackers” would not have been able to break in the party's servers to leak thousands of classified emails.

“This attack was against a political party. What need does an individual hacker have to launch an attack on a political party?”

Rubanov also warned that cyber-attacks would continue to put an increasing strain on international ties. He claimed that the attack on DNC servers — and Russia's alleged role in the hack — threatened any chance of the Kremlin building stronger ties with Washington.

“[U.S. President Donald] Trump will now have to prove that he has nothing to do with Moscow,” Rubanov said. "There's a chance that he'll now take a far harder stance toward Russia than Clinton ever would have in order to divert suspicion from himself.”

Rubanov spoke at length about Russia's cyber-battalions, despite Kremlin officials' repeated claims that no such corps exists. He said that Moscow had at least 1,000 people engaged in online-military operations: but made sure to distinguish the well-drilled, government cyber-corps to hackers acting as “hooligans” online.

“Sociologists have found that we Russians even have a kind of pride in our hackers,” he said. “But in our fragile information society it is impossible to treat hacking as a prank. They are a threat.”

“The main danger from increased hacking activity is attacks on critical infrastructure, which could lead to man-made disasters and the real loss of human life. This is a concern for all countries: but because of that, we have the chance to find a international solution.”

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