Apparently, you can’t trust anybody in this world- not even your antivirus.
According to a report from WSJ, NSA’s classified data, which wasn’t supposed to leave the facility’s perimeter where a contractor worked, was stolen by Russian hackers. This incident took place in 2015, and it was discovered in early 2016. After Snowden and Booz Allen, this is the third instance of an unnamed NSA contractor breaching NSA security.
The contractor in question took the classified code and other documents to his home and worked on the same using his personal computer, which had Kaspersky Antivirus installed on it. The report states that the Russian spies exploited Kaspersky package and stole the sensitive files.
At the moment, it’s unclear how Kaspersky was exploited to facilitate the hack. It means that we don’t know if the software package was already programmed by the company to scan for NSA material or the hackers targeted it at a later stage.
This news comes in the wake of increasing concerns regarding Kaspersky Lab. In the past, the FBI had briefed the government and private sector organizations to stay away from Kaspersky’s products.
While the exact level of Kaspersky’s aid in the hack can’t be confirmed, it’s surely worth noting that NSA is having a hard time controlling how its secret data is shared and taken care of.
In response to this story, founder Eugene Kaspersky has reiterated that his company doesn’t have any ties with the Russian government. “We make no apologies for being aggressive in the battle against malware and cybercriminals,” the company’s statement reads.