Israeli spies 'watched Russian agents breach Kaspersky software'

Kaspersky Lab has denied any knowledge of or involvement in an alleged Russian state campaign to steal U.S. intelligence documents using its anti-virus software, which was spotted by Israeli spies.

The Israeli spies also found hacking tools in Kaspersky networks that could have only come from the National Security Agency, according to a separate report Tuesday by the Washington Post.

Last month, the USA government chose to stop using the Russian firm's software on its computers.

And late last month, the US National Intelligence Council completed a classified report that it shared with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies concluding that Russia's FSB intelligence service had "probable access" to Kaspersky customer databases and source code, the Post reported.

The confirmation comes via more hacking activity, this time by Israelis who were apparently embedded in the antivirus company's systems prior to the 2015 Russian hack of an NSA contractor who had taken classified information back home.

Following today's (Wednesday) earlier reports that Israeli intelligence officials warned the United States about Russian hackers breaking into their information security, an Israeli security source told Channel 2 News Online that Israel has long suspected the Russian information security company, Kaspersky Lab, used by the hackers to access USA intelligence.

The current and former government officials who described the episode spoke about it on condition of anonymity because of classification rules, the Times said.

The Russians were allegedly attempting to gather data on USA intelligence programs, according to the New York Times and Washington Post.

The Russian embassy in Washington last month called the ban on Kaspersky Lab software "regrettable" and said it delayed the prospects of restoring bilateral ties.

The report said that the Russian hacking activity did not appear to be related to the Shadow Brokers, a group that dumped a stash of NSA exploits a year ago. Kaspersky Lab reiterates its willingness to work alongside USA authorities to address any concerns they may have about its products as well as its systems, and respectfully requests any relevant, verifiable information that would help the company in its own investigation to certifiably refute the false accusations.

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