October 20, 2017 Bill Still

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Kaspersky Lab Working With Russian Intel

Synopsis: Good morning, I’m still reporting on: The Russian anti-virus software giant, Kaspersky Lab has just been busted for having a Russian hacking tool within it that helped Russian government hackers steal secrets from the NSA. The bombshell cybersecurity hit both the New York Times on Wednesday and Bloomberg yesterday – so, I’m guessing that it’s true. In any case, Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, ordered US government agencies on Wednesday to develop plans to remove Kaspersky software from government systems in the next 90 days. The suspicion is that Kaspersky software contain back doors that allow Russian intelligence access to computers on which it is installed. Best Buy is taking Kaspersky Lab’s cybersecurity products from its shelves and website and the Senate is voting on a bill that would ban Kaspersky Labs’ products from government agencies by law. Kaspersky Lab, which has been an advertiser on NPR – National Public Radio – is being dropped as a sponsor, according to a spokesperson contacted by the Washington Free Beacon. How were they busted? In 2015, Israeli government hackers found hacking tools that could only have come from the US National Security Agency in an unnamed Kaspersky Lab product. Israel notified the NSA of a possible breach. An investigation by the NSA found the tools were in the possession of the Russian government. The NSA eventually narrowed their search to an employee in the agency’s elite Tailored Access Operations division. The employee was using Kaspersky anti-virus software on his home computer. The employee, whose name has not been made public, did not intentionally give up the NSA tools, investigators deduced that he was just trying to complete his mission and he needed the tools to do it. But here’s a major problem for American companies and individuals: Kaspersky Lab boasts that it has 400 million users worldwide, but half of them may not know it because Kaspersky has licensing agreements that have the Kaspersky software embedded in routers, software and telecom equipment without their name being publicly attached to it.