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Russian hackers attacked the DNC looking for dirt on Donald Trump

Two groups believed to have ties to Russian intelligence services sniffed around the DNC's computers for more than a year.

Donald Trump Delivers Speech In Manchester, New Hamoshire Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Russian government hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee's computer network looking for opposition research on Donald Trump, the Washington Post reports.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz acknowledged the breach and said the party sought the help of security firm CrowdStrike to kick out the intruders and secure the system.

“The security of our system is critical to our operation and to the confidence of the campaigns and state parties we work with,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "When we discovered the intrusion, we treated this like the serious incident it is and reached out to CrowdStrike immediately.”

Two sophisticated groups of hackers — dubbed Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear by CrowdStrike — broke into the DNC’s network, with one team rooting around, reading emails and rifling through files since last summer.

Both groups, apparently acting independently, are known to engage in political and economic espionage and are believed to have ties to the Russian government’s intelligence services, CrowdStrike said.

“Our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis,” CrowdStrike said in a report detailing breach.

The Post reported that the Russian hackers were searching for opposition research on the Republican party's presumptive nominee.

CrowdStrike didn't go that far — but noted that nation-state actors eager for insights into the U.S. election and the candidates for the White House will do these sorts of deeds.

“The 2016 presidential election has the world’s attention, and leaders of other states are anxiously watching and planning for possible outcomes,” CrowdStrike said in a report. “Attacks against electoral candidates and the parties they represent are likely to continue up until the election in November."

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