On Tuesday, CBS News reported that an “attempted” Russian intelligence service hacked into a US election server and leaked information about voters’ preferences before Election Day.
The US intelligence community had been investigating the matter for months.
The report came as the White House sought to downplay the issue, saying the hacking did not compromise US security.
US intelligence officials said they believed that the hack of the DNC server was part of a larger Russian intelligence operation.
The FBI is also looking into the matter.
What is the Russia hack?
The US cybersecurity community, known as the FBI, has concluded that the Russian government attempted to meddle in the 2016 US election, though they have not publicly acknowledged the agency’s conclusion.
The bureau’s assessment is based on the assessment of US intelligence agencies and the findings of an FBI task force led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“It is possible that Russia sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, and it is possible, but we do not have direct evidence to support this claim,” the FBI said in a statement.
The statement came after a Senate Intelligence Committee briefing, which included testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
“The Russian government appears to have conducted cyber activity aimed at the US election system during the 2016 campaign and after the election,” the Senate Intelligence committee said.
“Specifically, we assess that the malicious actors sought to interfere in the election process and sow distrust in the electoral process.”
In a statement, President Donald Trump called the intelligence community’s report “ridiculous” and “completely false.”
“The fake news media is working overtime to try and make up stories about my campaign,” he said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
“We have no idea what the real story is.
They want to put false allegations out there.”
Who are the Russians?
The FBI and the US intelligence communities have identified three separate groups of Russian hackers that they believe were behind the cyberattacks: a group called Fancy Bear, a group known as APT28, and a Russian intelligence agency called GRU.
Russian hackers used a code name for the group Fancy Bear to communicate with a Russian hacker known as “Kaspersky Lab,” the Washington Post reported.
It is unclear who else in the Russian hacking group was responsible for the Fancy Bear attack.
Who else in Russia was behind the APT 28 and GRU attacks?
The White House said it did not know who else was responsible, saying that the FBI and other US intelligence services are investigating the attacks.
“What we do know is that this was a deliberate and organized attack on US political institutions, and that it targeted a number of American political figures and organizations,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
US Senator Ron Wyden said in his statement that he believes the US government should be investigating whether the Russians are responsible for those attacks.
How serious is the Russian cyberattack?
The cyberattack on the DNC and the Trump campaign is believed to have been the work of two groups of hackers who both operate from Russia.
The first group, Fancy Bear — or APT — claimed responsibility for the attacks in November, but the FBI has not said whether they were behind them.
APT reportedly targets US political figures.
In February, US intelligence released details of an operation by Fancy Bear and other Russian hackers to attack Democratic political organizations.
In October, the FBI arrested the head of the GRU group, Igor Strelkov, in Moscow.
He has since been detained in connection with a separate investigation into Russia’s election interference.
The GRU has been the focus of an investigation by the US and UK into whether it played any role in the cyberattack.
The Department of Homeland Security is also investigating the cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee and the White, House and Senate offices of the Democratic Party.
US officials said on Tuesday that a separate cyberattack was launched on the Republican National Committee’s website in October, but that it was not linked to Fancy Bear.
What are the implications of the cyberhack?
In a written statement, US President Donald Trumps spokesperson Sean Spicer said that the “election integrity committee was not the target of any Russian-directed interference, and has nothing to do with the Russian-backed disinformation campaign.”
He added that the president believes that the hacking of the US presidential election “was a failure of judgment” and that “Russian hackers were unable to compromise any of our electoral processes, as we have stated repeatedly.
The president has made it clear that he is committed to working with Congress to address this issue, and will continue to do so.”
The White house said that Trump is “continuing to take steps to restore confidence in our electoral process, and to ensure that all eligible voters have an opportunity to cast their votes.”
What happened next?
On Tuesday night, the White house released a statement from Trump that said the US will “fully cooperate” with the investigation into the DNC hack.
“While the White Houses Intelligence Community assessment is