Israel tipped off USA about Russian hack into government secrets, report says

Israel tipped off USA about Russian hack into government secrets, report says

Pablo Tucker
October 12, 2017

The company representatives told Sputnik that "Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question", referring to allegations made by several Western media outlets regarding Israeli security services tipping off their United States colleagues about Russian hackers employing Kaspersky products for their nefarious alleged activities.

Back in 2015, Israeli intelligence officials hacked into Kaspersky systems and discovered the presence of an improvised search tool used to search computers worldwide for mentions of code names of American intelligence programmes, according to The New York Times. "There is no way, based on what the software was doing, that Kaspersky couldn't have known about this", an official said. The reports were the latest in a series alleging the company and its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, have close ties to the Kremlin. Kaspersky Lab has been named a "Leader" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms.

The Russian government has used popular antivirus software for the search of secret documents around the world.

Following the discovery, several government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security, ordered the removal of all Kaspersky software from government devices, while the FBI also recommended private users to stop using the software too. In turn, the Russian company disclosed the massive security breach, without explicitly naming Israel as the perpetrator.

Germany's BSI cyber agency confirmed Wednesday that there is no evidence whatsoever that security software maker Kaspersky Lab is in any way helping Russian officials, or engaged in any misconduct. It said it was anxious that the Russian government had possibly compromised the firm. But it remains unclear if Kaspersky was part of a scheme or an unwilling accomplice in an espionage effort.

Kaspersky has repeatedly said it has not helped Russian Federation or any other government engage in espionage.

It is not yet publicly known what other USA secrets the Russian hackers may have discovered by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, the Times said.

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

USA intelligence agencies have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin organized a vast digital influence operation to assist Donald Trump win the presidency, a charge Moscow still denies.

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