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Israeli Spies Found Russia Hacking with Kaspersky

12 October 2017

Israeli spies warned U.S. intelligence that antivirus software employed by several American government agencies was being used by Kremlin-backed hackers to steal secrets (write Boer Deng and Anshel Pfeffer). This software is used by 400 million people around the globe, including US government agencies, The New York Times reported that over two years ago Israeli officials had hacked into Kaspersky's network and then notified USA counterparts of the Russian intrusion. It is unknown what other classified information Russian Federation was able to get their hands on through Kaspersky software.

Germany's BSI, which also uses Kaspersky products for technical analyses, said it was in touch with USA officials and other security agencies about the issue so it could take action and issue a warning on short notice if required.

The U.S. government last month ordered Kaspersky software removed from government computers, saying it was concerned the Moscow-based cyber security firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

The Washington Post had also reported that the Israeli spies discovered hacking tools that could only originated from the U.S. National Security Agency in Kaspersky's network. Around 400 million people worldwide use the company's software. "Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts", a company statement said on Tuesday in response to the New York Times report.

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.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov has categorically denied information that NASA information had been stolen using Kaspersky Lab tools.

Eugene Kaspersky, a businessman and former Russian Defense Ministry official, founded Kaspersky Lab in 1997.

The company "does not possess any knowledge" of Israel's hack, the Post cited the statement as saying.