Israeli government hackers have been revealed to be behind the discovery of National Security Agency (NSA) tools on Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky’s network.
The hackers breached Kaspersky’s network in 2015, before discovering the NSA tools and contacting the US government, according to the Washington Post.
“Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government,” they reported on Tuesday. “Israeli spies had found the hacking material on the network of Kaspersky Lab, the global anti-virus firm under a spotlight in the United States because of suspicions that its products facilitate Russian espionage.”
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 a statement, Kaspersky claimed 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,” while Kaspersky founder, Eugene Kaspersky, claimed in a blog post that any tools found on the network were likely picked up as malware by the anti-virus program.
“We absolutely and aggressively detect and clean malware infections no matter the source,” he declared.