Israeli Intelligence Busted Russian Hacking of US Intelligence
For more than two years, while hackers working for the Russian government were focusing on code names for American intelligence programs, the hackers themselves were being hacked by Israeli intelligence according to the New York Times. Jerusalem alerted its Washington allies, resulting in an order to remove the Russian software used by 400 million worldwide and which enabled the hacking from United States government computers. The newspaper, which claims its reporting is based on conversations with “multiple people who have been briefed on the matter” without identifying either the interviewees or their briefers, says the Russians’ point of entry into the American intel trove was the computer of a National Security Agency employee who improperly stored classified documents on his home computer. The popular anti-virus software made by the Russian Kaspersky Lab Company, which was installed on the NSA-man’s computer, opened the information to the Russian intelligence operatives. In addition to the sources for the story speaking under condition of anonymity, the Times disclosed that the White House, National Security Agency and Israeli Embassy all declined to comment while the Russian Embassy refused to respond to the newspaper’s inquiries. Nevertheless, the Times reports that the Kaspersky matter is unrelated to a series of other horrific revelations relating to hacking and loss of information by American intelligence units. The paper quotes Blake Darché, a former N.S.A. operator and co-founder of Area 1 Security, as explaining, “Antivirus is the ultimate back door. It provides consistent, reliable and remote access that can be used for any purpose, from launching a destructive attack to conducting espionage on thousands or even millions of users.” Israeli intelligence apparently had a long and prosperous run of data and information from its own exploitation of the Kaspersky anti-virus products, including using it to spy on the Iranian-Western Powers nuclear talks from which Jerusalem was excluded.