While there is much we don't yet know about the Russian government's efforts to hack Kaspersky products, in at least one instance they appear to have resulted in Russia obtaining classified documents from an NSA employee who had stored them on a personal computer that ran Kaspersky software.
More revealing still, the report said, that during the course of the hack, the spies watched in real time as Russian government hackers turned Kaspersky antivirus software used by 400 million people worldwide into an improvised search tool that scoured computers for code names of US intelligence programs.
The House Science Committee is now planning to hold a series of hearings on software produced by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, the Hill has learned.
That led Washington just last month to order the software removed from all U.S. government computers. "Furthermore, as the article itself notes, Kaspersky Lab publicly reported the attack, and the company offered its assistance to affected or interested organizations to help mitigate this threat".
Russia also issued a statement, condemning the US move. "They only move back the prospects of bilateral ties recovery", it said. That is the nature of the war we're in.
And late last month, the U.S. National Intelligence Council completed a classified report that it shared with NATO allies concluding that Russia's FSB intelligence service had "probable access" to Kaspersky customer databases and source code, the Post reported.
The firm maintained that its software doesn't contain any 'undeclared' capabilities such as backdoors and that it has never helped any government with its cyber-espionage efforts. Around the same time, Best Buy stopped selling Kaspersky software. [Israeli intelligence] provided their NSA counterparts with solid evidence of the Kremlin campaign in the form of screenshots and other documentation, according to the people briefed on the events.
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.
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.
Kaspersky Lab denied accusations that it had been involved in the hacking.
Kaspersky spokeswoman Sarah Kitsos told the Washington Post on Tuesday that "as a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russia, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight".
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