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12 October 2017, 08:51 | Devin Moran
Russia Has Turned Kaspersky Software Into Tool for Spying
Kaspersky, whose range of products are reportedly used by around 400 million people globally including some 20 government clients, said it was not responsible for the alleged cyber-espionage.
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.
It is not yet publicly known what other USA secrets the Russian hackers may have discovered by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, the Times said.
Germany's domestic BSI intelligence agency said Wednesday that it has "no evidence" to back reports that Russian hackers exploited global civilian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to hunt for classified American intelligence programs. It was founded in 1997 by Eugene Kaspersky, who is now the CEO.
Now, a new damning report says that the functionality discovered in the software could not have been put there without the company's knowledge.
"According to the spokesperson, the company has not received any evidence of the allegations".
Even in this case, they offered no evidence that the Russian government was specifically targeting the United States, nor that Kaspersky knew about the intrusion.
"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, for any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts, and contrary to erroneous reports, Kaspersky Lab software does not contain any undeclared capabilities such as backdoors as that would be illegal and unethical".
In a statement, Kaspersky claimed that "as a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russian Federation, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight", while Kaspersky founder, Eugene Kaspersky, claimed in a blog post that any tools found on the network were likely picked up as malware by the anti-virus program.
Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder and chief executive, has repeatedly denied charges his company conducts espionage on behalf of the Russian government.
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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