Kaspersky defends its role in NSA breach, as saga continues.
Protective software developer Kaspersky Lab has been under fire for allegations that they aided state-sponsored foreign hackers in infiltrating the National Security Administration. Unfortunately, while some of the information coming out seems fairly damning, it’s also far from transparent. Much of the connection between Kaspersky’s supposed role in the hacking and the Kremlin seems to center largely around nothing more than founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky’s nationality.
According to multiple reports on the growing case, Russian hackers broke into a personal computer belonging to an NSA agent. Why this NSA agent had classified documents on his personal computer at home and had not secured his network is a much bigger question than is Kaspersky responsible, but for the purposes of finger-pointing, that doesn’t come up much. The hackers used Kaspersky Lab software to identify which files on the computer were sensitive in nature, and then copies of those files appear to have ended up on Kaspersky servers.
When the story actually starts to unfold, there are operatives from the US, Russia, Israel, and China involved, and several different malware attacks. What is understood so far, is that everyone involved had a stake in hacking another computer, malware tools to pull it off, and a common thread: Kaspersky Lab software.
Playing by the rules?
For its part, the company has answered that charge by saying that of course the AV developer has unique access to a computer once its product is installed… that’s literally how threats are recognized and neutralized before they can take root. Kaspersky’s statement claims that information did reach its servers, but that like all other types of access to customers’ files, it was deleted as soon as it was found to be safe.
It’s odd that the country with the highest military spending budget in the world wouldn’t create their own tech defenses, but would rather install a product that consumers can get at Best Buy (oh wait, not anymore they can’t). When using software that anyone can purchase and manipulate, it shouldn’t be a surprise that an outside agent can use it to suit their purposes.