Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kaspersky Lab Asks for Evidence of Firm's Alleged Collusion With Russian Gov't

Germany's BSI federal cyber agency said on Wednesday it had no evidence to back media reports that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab antivirus software to spy on usa authorities.

The US government banned the use of Kaspersky software in federal offices last month, saying the Moscow-based company has risky ties to Russian intelligence that threatened US national security.

"There are no plans to warn against the use of Kaspersky products since the BSI has no evidence for misconduct by the company or weaknesses in its software", BSI said in a statement on Wednesday.

Current and former United States 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.

Israel is believed to have first alerted the U.S. that Kaspersky was spying on computers and looking for American intelligence information.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) had told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that it believed Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, had "probable access" to Kaspersky data on company customers and the antivirus source code.

During the course of their hack, Russian officials reportedly managed to uncover hotels and conference venues used for meetings by members of the UN Security Council to discuss the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Eugene Kaspersky, a businessman and former Russian Defense Ministry official, founded Kaspersky Lab in 1997.

Now, a new damning report says that the functionality discovered in the software could not have been put there without the company's knowledge. Kaspersky dubbed the effort "Duqu 2.0" and drew a connection between methods used in the new intrusion and those employed by Stuxnet, a cyber weapon developed for use against Iran by the USA and Israel.

The company issued a statement saying 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", the Washington Post reported.

Moscow has been accused of staging cyberattacks against the U.S. and European Union countries in recent years.

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