Two years ago, Israeli intelligence officials reported to the NSA that Russian hackers were actively trying to gain access to US intelligence programs using Russian-made Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus software previoulsy used by US government agencies.
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Israeli intelligence officials had uncovered Russian government hackers trying to discover the code names of US intelligence programs, the New York Times reported Tuesday night. According to the report, the incident took place about two years ago at which time, Israel warned the US about the Russian hackers’ activities.
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 US government agencies.
According to officials involved, the Russians managed to hack into the home computer of an employee at the National Security Agency (NSA) through the anti-virus software installed on it and steal improperly stored classified documents.
It was also reported that Israeli spies may had also uncovered NSA hacking tools in Kaspersky’s network. This resulted in an NSA investigation which found that these tools had reached the Kremlin. Only last month it was decided that Kaspersky Anti-Virus software would be removed from all US government computers.
The White House, the Israeli Embassy and the NSA all declined to comment for the New York Times article. Kaspersky Lab denied that it knew of Russian hackers or cooperated with them and said in response: “Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with tis cyberespionage efforts.”