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Germany: 'No evidence' Russian Federation used Kaspersky software to spy on US
12 October 2017, 08:52 | Erica Roy
Antivirus program 'let in Russian spies'
Germany's BSI federal cyber agency said on Wednesday it had no evidence to back media reports that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab antivirus software to spy on USA authorities.
It is as yet unclear on whether Kaspersky was involved in aiding the Russian hackers, or if the hackers simply used Kaspersky's software as a backdoor onto computers worldwide that use the anti-virus.
While the case of spies spying on spies has only come to light now, the Israeli intelligence officials revealed their findings to the United States which moved to ban the use of Kaspersky software on USA government computers. Kaspersky Lab develops and sells antivirus, internet security, password management, endpoint security, and other cybersecurity products and services.
During the course of their hack, Russian officials reportedly managed to uncover hotels and conference venues used for meetings by members of the UN Security Council to discuss the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran.
Eugene Kaspersky, a businessman and former Russian Defense Ministry official, founded Kaspersky Lab in 1997.
As of 2016, the software has about 400 million users and has the largest market-share of cybersecurity software vendors in Europe. "There is no way, based on what the software was doing, that Kaspersky couldn't have known about this", an official said.
In a binding directive, acting homeland security secretary Elaine Duke ordered that federal civilian agencies identify Kaspersky Lab software on their networks.
"According to the spokesperson, the company has not received any evidence of the allegations".
Kaspersky first noticed intrusion by Israel referenced in The New York Times story back in 2015, when it reported that "a sophisticated cyberespionage actor" had infiltrated its systems using code that resembled a previous attack. "Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question, and the company reiterates its willingness to work alongside USA authorities to address any concerns they may have about its products as well as its systems", told The Journal in a statement.
US intelligence agencies have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin organized a vast digital influence operation to assist Donald Trump win the presidency, a charge Moscow still denies.
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