The New York Times published an article claiming that Israeli intelligence officers were monitoring the actions of Russian hackers hired by the Russian government, who sought to obtain classified information about the activities of the American special services.
The authors of the publication, Nicole Perlroth and Scott Shane, write that Russian hackers used the tools of Kaspersky Lab, which specializes in anti-virus software. The article notes that the software of this Russian company is used by about 400 million people around the world, including several dozen US government agencies.
The article claims that Israeli hackers were able to penetrate the internal network of Kaspersky Lab, which allowed them to obtain information about the actions of Russians against US interests. It is reported that Russian hackers were able to steal classified documents stored by an NSA employee on a personal computer on which Kaspersky Lab antivirus was installed.
The Washington Post writes that in 2015 the Israelis discovered hacking tools on the computers of Kaspersky Lab, which were allegedly stolen by Russian government services from the US National Security Agency.
This, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post, was the reason for the decision of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 13, 2017 to ban the use of Kaspersky Lab products by US government agencies. Then the US Department of Internal Affairs urged “departments and agencies to identify any use or presence of Kaspersky products in their information systems over the next 30 days, to develop detailed plans to remove and stop using the products within the next 60 days” (quoted by TASS). The IMB also ordered government agencies 90 days after the publication of this directive to “begin to implement a plan to stop using and remove products from information systems.” “Product use”
On September 18, the US Senate approved an amendment to the bill, under which federal agencies, both military and civilian, are prohibited from using the software of the Russian company Kaspersky Lab. In support of the amendment, which was included in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2018 budget bill, 89 senators voted, while only eight opposed. According to Senator Jean Shahin, one of the authors of this initiative, the adoption of this provision will eliminate the “weak link” in the US national security system.
Kaspersky Lab categorically rejects all accusations of involvement in any actions directed against US interests. The company says that Kaspersky Lab has not helped any government in the world in action against another state. The company has expressed an interest in obtaining information that would aid in its internal investigation.
Government sources in Washington, Jerusalem and Moscow do not comment on these publications.
Full text of the reaction of “Kaspersky Lab”
After the publications of The New York Times and The Washington Post, NEWSru.co.il received a detailed commentary from the press service of Kaspersky Lab, which is given below in full.