Putin Strikes Again: Russian Hackers Reportedly Stole NSA Data On Cyber Defense
Looks like Russian President Vladimir Putin is back at it.....MORE
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that hackers working for the Russian government have stolen data describing how US intelligence agencies infiltrate foreign computer networks and how they defend against cyberattacks. The data were stolen after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to WSJ’s anonymous sources.
News of the hack, which hasn’t been exposed previously, explains the federal government’s abrupt crackdown on Moscow-based security firms Kaspersky Labs. As WSJ explains, the contractor may have been targeted after hackers identified the files thanks to the contractor’s use of a popular antivirus software created by Kaspersky.
According to WSJ, the hack is considered by experts to be one of the most significant security breaches in recent years. It offers a rare glimpse into how the intelligence community thinks Russian intelligence exploits the widely available software products. It appears to be one of the most harmful infiltrations of government servers since hackers purportedly sponsored by the Chinese military stole records about US intelligence assets from the Office of Personnel Management’s servers.
The incident occurred in 2015 but wasn’t discovered until spring of last year, said the people familiar with the matter. If the report is accurate, the breach would be the first known incident of Kaspersky software being exploited by Russian hackers for the purposes of espionage. The company, which sells its antivirus products in the US, had revenue of more than half a billion dollars in Western Europe and the Americas in 2016, according to International Data Corp. By Kaspersky’s own account it has more than 400 million users world-wide, though it’s about to lose all of its customers from the US government.
The NSA wouldn’t confirm, or deny, the story....