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Israel exposed Russian hackers attempting to access U.S. intelligence

11 October 2017

The report comes after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that hackers backed by the Russian government stole highly classified cyber secrets in 2015 after an NSA contractor placed the information on his home computer.

The Russians' who were caught in the act attempted to gain access to American intelligence programs using the anti-virus software developed by Russian information security company Kaspersky Lab, which is used by 400 million people worldwide, including USA government agencies.

According to the Times, Israeli Intelligence let the NSA know that while they had been touring the belly of the Kaspersky beast, they collected evidence that Russian government hackers were using the antivirus provider's access to brutally dig for and collect United States government classified information.

The investigation alleges Israeli officials discovered the infitatration when they hacked into Kasperksy's systems. Only last month it was decided that Kaspersky Anti-Virus software would be removed from all U.S. government computers.

The Kaspersky antivirus software is used by 400 million clients worldwide.

That access, it concluded, could help enable cyber attacks against US Government, commercial and industrial control networks, the Post reported.

"Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russian Federation, and it is unfortunate that news coverage continues to report anonymously-sourced claims, despite these sources not presenting the journalists any evidence to back up their accusations", the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The newspaper said the National Security Agency and the White House declined to comment, as did the Israeli Embassy, while the Russian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

The alert to the USA authorities was based, according to the Times, on Israel's 2014 hacking of Kaspersky's corporate systems, which by then had been accused of serving as a front for Russian Intelligence.

"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts", the company said in a statement.

It has repeatedly denied having anything more than correct business ties to the Kremlin, saying it is "caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight".