After a year already filled with dozens of cybersecurity breaches, the largest could still be on the horizon. Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software has been reportedly altered to help steal National Security Agency secrets for Russian government hackers. If this happens to be true, it will have a major impact to the over 400 million people worldwide who utilize their software. More than 60 percent, or $374 million, of the company’s $633 million in annual sales come from the United States and Western Europe. Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software (like most security software) searches all data stored on a computer for any cybersecurity compromises such as malicious software or malware. When something is detected it will automatically be removed and a report is then generated. This happened to be the perfect routine for Russian intelligence to exploit the data check and retrieve whatever information that they found of interest.
Per the Wall Street Journal, Russian intelligence used altered software from Kaspersky to steal classified NSA information. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the leak was discovered by Israeli intelligence who had hacked in Kaspersky’s corporate network and watched the connection between their antivirus software and Russian intelligence in real-time.
The latest hacking is in regards to a 2015 event in which an NSA worker sneaked classified materials out of the agency and onto an Internet-connected computer that had Kaspersky AV installed on it. The Russian government was able to steal documents with help of Kaspersky AV software.
Kaspersky Lab is adamant that they had no knowledge or involvement with Russian intelligence. “Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts,” The company also said it “respectfully requests any relevant, verifiable information that would enable the company to begin an investigation at the earliest opportunity.” However, one US official has different thoughts; “There is no way, based on what the software was doing, that Kaspersky couldn’t have known about this.”
Do you have Kaspersky Lab as your anti-virus software? ProviNET can offer an alternative solution if you’re feeling that your data may have been or may be breached. We have partnered with industry-leading technology solutions to protect our customers from data breaches.
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