Russian Hackers Reportedly Stole A Bunch Of NSA Hacking Tools

Russian Hackers Reportedly Stole A Bunch Of NSA Hacking Tools

Kerry Wise
October 7, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security have concluded that operatives from two Russian spy agencies infiltrated computers of the Democratic National Committee months before the USA national election released hundreds of emails from the party staffers.

"Hackers working for the Russian government stole details of how the USA penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to multiple people with knowledge of the matter." the Wall Street Journal reads.

It's unclear what role, if any, Kaspersky had in the theft, but the company has publicly denounced the Wall Street Journal report, claiming in a statement that as "a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have any inappropriate ties to any country, including Russian Federation, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight".

The incident occurred in 2015, according to the WSJ, but was not discovered until a year ago.

We now may have our answer: initial discovery of NSA tools led to further discovery using its AV tools to do precisely what they're supposed to.

In what could be yet another case of a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor's system being hacked, reports are emerging that Russia-backed hackers have been involved in the act.

He said that Kaspersky would "never betray the trust" of its users. Intelligence agencies have concluded it hacked the Democratic National Committee as well as emails for members of Hillary Clinton's campaign. And recently, the United States government went ahead and banned the software in all federal agencies. Kaspersky was at one point authorized for a slew of agencies including several military branches, along with the State, Defense and Justice departments. Two months later, the bureau reportedly warned private sector companies against using Kaspersky software.

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The breach, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is the latest to plague the NSA involving the use of government contractors. Once the machine was in their sights, the Russian hackers infiltrated it and obtained a significant amount of data, according to the paper.

The breach illustrates NSA's longstanding problem with keeping secrets from spilling out, former intelligence personnel told the Journal, noting they were rarely searched while entering or leaving their workplaces to see if they were carrying classified documents or items like a thumb drive.

Neither the contractor's identity nor his firm were immediately known. Although his intentions appear to be have been good, he was still aware that it was a violation of protocol.

The still-unidentified man has been cooperating with federal investigators, according to sources.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported the theft of highly classified material by hackers believed to be working for the Russian government.

The hacking incident in question may be the key evidence used in September to drive a U.S. government-wide ban of Kaspersky products. In August, reports surfaced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was actively warning companies against using Kaspersky software, which Best Buy stopped selling last month.