Media reports released Tuesday claimed that Israel informed the United States of Russian hacking through antivirus software in 2015 that was used to steal information from the National Security Agency (NSA).
The story first broke in a New York Times piece entitled “How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets”, the article claiming that Israeli hackers were responsible for finding the hacking software in 2015. The software, Kaspersky, was reportedly used to hack government employee computers as well as computers of the NSA.
Just last month, the United States government began removing all Kaspersky software from government computers following reports and intelligence of hacking from Russia, the US Department of Homeland Security banning the used of Kaspersky computer software.
Israel has refused to comment on the reports.
Kaspersky denied the reports, stating in response “Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts… Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russia, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight.”
A reported 400 million people were affected by the hacking.
According to the New York Times, “The report did not name Israel as the intruder but noted that the breach bore striking similarities to a previous attack… Several targets were in the United States, which suggested that the operation was Israel’s alone, not a joint American-Israeli operation like Stuxnet.”
Stuxnet was an US-Israeli operation that successfully infiltrated Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in 2010. The operation destroyed “a fifth of Iran’s uranium centrifuges” through the use of code.
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, October 11, 2017, and reposted with permission.