Israeli source says Russian information security company has long been blacklisted in Israel

Following earlier reports that Russian government hackers attempted to breach US intelligence programs using a Russian information security company, Kaspersky Lab, an Israeli security official explained that the company's software has long been blacklisted by Israel.
Illustration Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Following today’s (Wednesday) earlier reports that Israeli intelligence officials warned the US about Russian hackers breaking into their information security, an Israeli security source told Channel 2 News Online that Israel has long suspected that the Russian information security company Kaspersky Lab was being used by the hackers to access US intelligence.

The source added that a long time ago, the Israeli Ministry of Defense instructed against the use of Kaspersky Lab software throughout Israel. The ministry is responsible, among other things, for supervising and controlling the ties of Israeli defense industries with foreign entities. However, the senior official noted that there are several companies, such as Check Point, that use code lines developed by Kaspersky Lab, though not in their finished products.

The Director of Security of the Israeli Defense Establishment is responsible not only for what the defense industries in Israel are allowed to sell and to whom, but also with which entities they are allowed to be in contact and which products from abroad are allowed to be bought and used by the Israeli systems. For example, security officials make sure to purchase phones manufactured in South Korea rather than China in order to prevent information security breaches.

The senior official also reported attempts by hostile elements to phish and connect with members of the defense industries in Israel. "There are many phishing attempts on the network," he said. "The number of twenty-something-year-old beautiful girls who want to be friends with employees of the security industries on Facebook or LinkedIn is very high."

As previously reported by JOL, according to the New York Times, Israeli intelligence officials exposed Russian government hackers who tried to uncover the code names of US intelligence programs. The incident took place about two years ago. Israel warned the US about the Russian hackers’ malicious activities when the attempt was discovered.

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