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How Kaspersky AV reportedly was caught helping Russian hackers steal NSA secrets

12 Octubre 2017

That led Washington just last month to order the software removed from all U.S. government computers.

The NYT said the Russian operation, according to multiple people briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer, which had Kaspersky antivirus software installed on it.

The revelations came amid concerns in the US that Russian hackers broke into the US networks and meddled with the 2016 US presidential election.

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, Russian hack1ing.

During their time rummaging around the Kaspersky network, the Israeli spies reportedly discovered, in real time, some fellow spies, though of Russian heritage. But this incident shows that they are not our friends and that Vladimir Putin prefers an adversarial relationship with the US to one of constructive engagement.

The NSA, the White House, and the Israeli Embassy declined to comment, while the Russian Embassy did not respond.

Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky seems to be in the big soup.

In an interesting turn of events, it has now come to light that Israeli intelligence officials told the US authorities about the Russian intrusion into their computers via Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab's anti-virus software.

Kaspersky's most of the revenue comes from selling anti-virus software to consumers and small businesses.

Recently, The New York Times reported that Israeli intelligence officials spying on Russian government hackers had found that Russian's agencies were using Kaspersky Lab antivirus software that is used by 400 million people globally, including U.S. Government agencies to hack their system.

The highly classified documents, which contained details about how the U.S. launches cyber attacks against foreign computer networks and defends its own systems against attacks, were taken from a contractor working with the American intelligence agency. "Kaspersky labs respectfully requests any relevant, verifiable information that would enable the company to begin an investigation at the earliest opportunity".

Though Kaspersky may not have been involved in, or approved of, these developments, The Washington Post article does provide more information on how such a scheme could have been implemented using the company's product.

Over the past several years, the firm has, on occasion, used a standard industry technique that detects computer viruses but can also be employed to identify information and other data not related to malware, according to two industry officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. What remains unclear is if AV packages from companies located in the US or other Western countries could be used in a similar way to spill secrets belonging to the US and its allies.