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Jailed Russian Hacker Confesses to DNC Hack

Gary Cameron / Reuters

A jailed Russian hacker says he can prove he hacked into the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers in 2016 on the Kremlin's orders. 

The Russian government has been accused of orchestrating a hack that leaked some 20,000 DNC emails during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. The Kremlin has denied the accusations, “absolutely ruling out the possibility” of government involvement.

In a written interview with the opposition-leaning Dozhd television station published Wednesday, the jailed Konstantin Kozlovsky said he left behind his signature in the DNC servers "on a hunch." 

"I left a .dat file with the numbers of my visa to St. Martin and my passport on the internal web server of the Democratic Party,” Dozhd cited him as saying. 

He said the hidden file would have been accessed by the FBI after the hack was discovered, or on backup files from Sept. 2015. 

"This is the main piece of evidence that I can provide from this torture chamber," he said.

Kozlovsky was arrested in 2016 for stealing more than $50 million from Russian banks using viruses called Lurk and WannaCry. During a pre-trial court hearing in August 2017, he admitted his involvement in the hacking of the DNC on orders of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). 

Earlier this month, Kozlovsky posted a transcript and audio recording of his confession at the court hearing on his Facebook page.

Kozlovsky asserted that he was under the direction of Major General Dmitry Dokuchayev, an FSB officer arrested on charges of treason in Russia in 2016. 

Dokuchayev denies any acquaintance with Kozlovsky, Dozhd reported

"All the Western media reports about Russian hackers — it's all me," Kozlovsky told Dozhd.

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