Russians used Kaspersky software for spying

A report in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday hinted that Kaspersky Lab could have made available its source code to the Russian Government.

Kaspersky Lab strongly denied any wrongdoing.

While the case of spies spying on spies has only come to light now, the Israeli intelligence officials revealed their findings to the USA which moved to ban the use of Kaspersky software on U.S. government computers.

Israeli intelligence officers were behind a tip-off to United States agencies that the Kremlin was using Kaspersky Lab's anti-virus software to steal American hacking tools, United States media has reported.

The newspaper notes that the number of computers that have accessed the program are not yet known. "Kaspersky is working with governments and companies across the world", he said. But the role of Israeli intelligence in uncovering that breach and the Russian hackers' use of Kaspersky software in the broader search for American secrets have not previously been disclosed. The Israeli Embassy declined to comment, and the Russian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

"The reality is criminals, they are working together by sharing information by helping each other to make money", he said at a cyber crime conference in Moscow. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and longstanding critic of government use of Kaspersky software, told BuzzFeed News last week. More than 60 per cent, or $374 million, of the company's $633 million in annual sales come from customers in the United States and Western Europe. "We reconfirm our readiness to work together with the USA authorities to answer any questions about the company's products, as well as internal procedures".

On September 13, the Department of Homeland Security ordered all federal executive branch agencies to stop using Kaspersky products, giving agencies 90 days to remove the software.

Prior to that, a report in The Washington Post on Tuesday claimed that Israeli Government information security professionals had found NSA hacking tools in Kaspersky Lab's system when it gained access to the company's servers in 2014.

Kaspersky Lab is available to assist all concerned government organisations with any ongoing investigations, and the company ardently believes a deeper examination of Kaspersky Lab will confirm that these allegations are unfounded.

Vanessa Coleman