Thursday October 05, 2017

Russian Hackers Exploited Kaspersky AV to Steal NSA Data on US Cyber Defense

Hackers working for the Russian government stole details of how the US penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks after an NSA contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to multiple people with knowledge of the matter. The hackers appear to have targeted the contractor after identifying the files through the contractor’s use of a popular antivirus software made by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, these people said.

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The breach is the first known incident in which Kaspersky software is believed to have been exploited by Russian hackers to conduct espionage against the U.S. government. The company, which sells its antivirus products in the U.S., had revenue of more than half a billion dollars in Western Europe and the Americas in 2016, according to International Data Corp. By Kaspersky’s own account it has more than 400 million users world-wide.

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