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Israeli Spies Spied Russian Spies Spying on American Spy Plans via Kaspersky Software

October 11, 2017

No, it actually isn’t the plot of a movie. It’s a chain of events described in a New York Times article claiming that Israeli intelligence agents caught Russian spies using compromised Kaspersky Lab software to search millions of American computers for U.S. intelligence data.

The report explains that an Israeli team had actually hacked into Kaspersky’s systems, and then found that software vulnerabilities were being used by Russian hackers to scour computers for references to American intelligence programs. That was made possible by a flaw that enabled them to see file names of documents that were being scanned by the antivirus system.

The Times says that the Israeli intelligence team provided details of the observations to American officials, and that ultimately led the Department of Homeland Security to ban the Russian software from U.S. government use over security concerns.

The story lends weight to a report from last week that claimed the National Security Agency lost cyberdefense details to Russian hackers after a contractor left documents on a home computer protected by Kaspersky software. What remains to be seen now is just how many other systems may have been tapped in the same way.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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