Some Russian hackers who allegedly took sensitive information from the DNC have been identified by the Justice Department, and authorities could bring charges next year, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The swiped emails from the Democratic National Committee were published daily by the website WikiLeaks during the heat of last year's presidential campaign.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in the hacking. The sources told the newspaper that discussions are still in early stages but prosecutors and agents are gathering information to bring a case against the Russians.
The Washington Post reported that Russian involvement in hacking the Democratic National Party computers has long been denied by Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Donald Trump – as a candidate and president – has downplayed possible Russian involvement in the hacks, the Post wrote.
FBI agents have targeted five to six individuals they believe work for the Russian military spy agency the GRU, a source told the Post. The U.S. intelligence community mentioned GRU as one of the culprits of the DNC hacking sandal in a report issued in January, the newspaper said.
The report said Russia's cyber operations connected with the U.S. elections started in March 2016, the Post reported. The intelligence community said it believed "the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona" and two websites to release data hacked from the Democrats, the newspaper said.
Authorities believe that those who hacked the DNC are separate from hackers behind Guccifer 2.0, The Washington Post reported.
Information about identification of Russian hackers comes days after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and onetime business associate Rick Gates both pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy and money laundering in connection with an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the HuffPost noted.
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