Exclusive: Russia carried out a breach of FBI communications system

On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. As the Russians burned papers and scrambled to pack their bags, the Kremlin protested the treatment of its diplomats, and denied that those compounds — sometimes known as the “dachas” — were anything more than vacation spots for their personnel.

Yahoo spoke about these previously unreported technical breaches and the larger government debates surrounding U.S. policies toward Russia with more than 50 current and former intelligence and national security officials, most of whom requested anonymity to discuss sensitive operations and internal discussions. While the officials expressed a variety of views on what went wrong with U.S.-Russian relations, some said the United States at times neglected to appreciate the espionage challenge from Moscow, and paid a significant price for a failure to prioritize technical threats.