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Israel hacked Kaspersky, tipped off U.S. on Russian hackers

Sheetal Sukhija - Thursday 12th October, 2017

WASHINGTON, U.S. - A new revelation has emerged that states that American authorities received information about Russian hackers from Israel.

According to a report in the New York Times, Israeli intelligence officers watched Russian hackers use software from Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to search for U.S. secrets.

The report stated that hackers searched computers across the globe for code names of U.S. intelligence programs.

The report, which cited current and former government officials said that Israeli officials who had hacked into Kaspersky’s network immediately alerted their U.S. counterparts. 

The U.S. Government’s recent decision to ditch Kaspersky Lab software reportedly came after the intrusion was detected more than two years ago.

The Russian operation reportedly stole classified documents from a NSA employee. 

It noted that the documents were improperly stored on the employee’s home computer, on which Kaspersky Lab software was installed.

Another report last week stated that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab software installed on a NSA contractor’s computer to steal sensitive information.

The report in the Wall Street Journal said that the role of Israeli intelligence in uncovering that intrusion and Russian hackers’ broader use of Kaspersky software in the search for U.S. secrets was not previously known.

The decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was announced last month in which it banned federal agencies and departments from using Kaspersky Lab products.

The department cited national security concerns for the ban. 

U.S. officials alleged that the company was tied up with Russian intelligence, gave therefore gave American government agencies and departments 90 days to get rid of Kaspersky Lab software.

However, Kaspersky Lab has denied the allegations that its products are a threat to U.S. national security.

It repeated its claim again and said in a statement, “Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question. As the integrity of our products is fundamental to our business, Kaspersky Lab patches any vulnerabilities it identifies or that are reported to the company.”

The statement added, “Kaspersky Lab reiterates its willingness to work alongside U.S. authorities to address any concerns they may have about its products as well as its systems, and respectfully requests any relevant, verifiable information that would help the company in its own investigation to certifiably refute the false accusations.”

So far, the Russian and Israeli governments have not made any official statement on the revelations.

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