Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Kaspersky Lab Asks for Evidence of Firm's Alleged Collusion With Russian Gov't

Melinda Barton | 12 October, 2017, 19:23

According to The Times, Israeli intelligence officials who had hacked into Kaspersky's network alerted the United States about the Russian hacking, prompting the USA government to order the immediate removal of any Kaspersky software from government computers.

The software is made by Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow firm that is under scrutiny amid allegations of aiding Kremlin-backed espionage. It has denied links to hacking. Kaspersky Lab develops and sells antivirus, internet security, password management, endpoint security, and other cybersecurity products and services.

That led to a decision in Washington only last month to order Kaspersky software removed from government computers.

Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said it has no evidence to support allegations Russian Federation had used antivirus software made by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab to spy on the United States.

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.

Now, a new damning report says that the functionality discovered in the software could not have been put there without the company's knowledge. It said it was anxious that the Russian government had possibly compromised the firm.

Current and former USA officials with knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the Kaspersky antivirus was used to perform secret searches for specific terms including "top secret", in addition to its usual antivirus scanning operations.

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. Kaspersky dubbed the effort "Duqu 2.0" and drew a connection between methods used in the new intrusion and those employed by Stuxnet, a cyber weapon developed for use against Iran by the US and Israel. "Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts", the company said in a statement.

Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder and chief executive, has repeatedly denied charges his company conducts espionage on behalf of the Russian government.