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Security firms link Democratic Party hack to Russians

A woman looks at a mobile phone screen as Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Ohio Democratic Party Legacy Dinner in Columbus, Ohio, March 13, 2016.

Carlos Barria/Reuters

There is detailed evidence showing intrusions of a Democratic Party funding group is linked to Russian hackers, two separate firms say

Two U.S. cyber-security firms say that their analysis of computer breaches at the Democratic Party's funding group for congressional candidates shows detailed evidence that the intrusions were likely linked to Russian hackers.

The two U.S. companies said in separate posts today that internet domains and registrants used in the breach of computers used by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, tie back to a Russian hacking group linked to that nation's intelligence services. That same hacking group, known as "Fancy Bear," was previously connected to the June cyber breach at the Democratic National Committee.

Both firms, Fidelis Cybersecurity and ThreatConnect, said the hackers created a fake internet DCCC donation site. The registrant for the fake DCCC site was linked back to other web domains used by "Fancy Bear."

The revelation of the DCCC hack happened only a week after more than 19,000 internal Democratic National Committee emails were leaked by WikiLeaks. It is believed WikiLeaks obtained the emails from Russian computer hackers. U.S. officials believe that people working for the Russian government are behind the original hack.

A U.S. intelligence official told CBS News last week that the signature of the DCCC breach is Russian and the U.S. government has identified methods and techniques used by Russia in past hacks that mirror those used in the DNC incursion. Another U.S. official told CBS News that the Obama administration believes Russian state actors are behind the leak, confirming the hackers "left all kinds of fingerprints."

The FBI confirmed that it is investigating the incident at the DNC.

Hillary Clinton campaign officials have suggested that Russia breached the network at the DNC in order to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. While President Obama declined to speculate on the motivations, he told NBC News that "anything's possible."

Meanwhile, during a press conference, Trump invited Russia to try and track down 30,000 emails that Clinton deleted from her time as secretary of state, although he later said his remark was meant to be sarcastic.

"Everybody's being hacked, OK?" Trump has said in response to criticism of his invitation to Moscow to hack away. "They have no idea who's doing it. They have no idea who's doing it."

He also repeatedly claimed that he has "nothing to do with Russia" including having no financial relationship, though he's still refusing to release his tax returns to prove it. CBS News' Julianna Goldman reported Friday, however, that Trump's connections to Russia and to President Vladimir Putin go back years and he has been trying to bring his brand to Moscow for decades.