Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Russian antivirus was used to obtain classified information

Russian antivirus was used to obtain classified information

Israeli intelligence officials spying on Russian government hackers found they were using Kaspersky Lab antivirus software that is also used by 400 million people globally, including US government agencies, according to media reports on Tuesday.

Kaspersky strongly denies any involvement in the hacking, with a spokesperson telling us: "Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question". It has denied links to hacking. Around 400 million people worldwide use the company's software.

Since then, United States intelligence agencies have been able to confirm that the antivirus software can be used to search computers for classified materials.

Kaspersky Lab ranks fourth in the global ranking of antivirus vendors by revenue. Kaspersky Lab has been named a "Leader" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms.

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.

Russian Federation reportedly spied on the U.S. using popular antivirus software by Kaspersky Lab. Germany's cybersecurity agency said it has seen no reason to warn against using the program.

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.

Even in this case, they offered no evidence that the Russian government was specifically targeting the U.S., nor that Kaspersky knew about the intrusion.

In mid-2015, Kaspersky detected an intrusion in its network and revealed it in a public report, but did not name Israel as the intruder. Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder and chief executive, continues to deny accusations that the company practices espionage on behalf of the Russian government.

"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, for any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts, and contrary to erroneous reports, Kaspersky Lab software does not contain any undeclared capabilities such as backdoors as that would be illegal and unethical".

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