Russian antivirus was used to obtain classified information

A general view shows the headquarters of the anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab in Moscow Russia

This software is used by 400 million people around the globe, including US government agencies, The New York Times reported that over two years ago Israeli officials had hacked into Kaspersky's network and then notified USA counterparts of the Russian intrusion. These updates make it possible to search using the phrase "top secret" that is used in American secret documents or by the code name given to the U.S. secret programs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The US Department of Homeland Security ordered all US government agencies to stop using Kaspersky products last month.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) had told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that it believed Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, had "probable access" to Kaspersky data on company customers and the antivirus source code. Thus, the Russian government turned "Kaspersky antivirus" tool for espionage, the article says The Wall Street Journal. The anti-virus vendor is used by 400 million people globally, including USA government agencies.

Germany's domestic BSI intelligence agency said Wednesday that it has "no evidence" to back reports that Russian hackers exploited global civilian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to hunt for classified American intelligence programs. "Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts", the company said in a statement.

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Eugene Kaspersky, a businessman and former Russian Defense Ministry official, founded Kaspersky Lab in 1997.

It has repeatedly denied having anything more than correct business ties to the Kremlin, saying it is "caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight".

United States intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a multipronged digital influence operation a year ago in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the White House, a charge Moscow denies.

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