Russians Reportedly Used Anti-Virus Software to Steal US Cyber-Weapons

The hackers reportedly went in through a Russian-made antivirus software

The document stolen included details of "how the NSA penetrates foreign computer networks, the computer code it uses for such spying and how it defends networks inside the U.S".

The massive theft took place in 2015, the sources said, after the man brought home classified documents from his job at the NSA.

Kaspersky Lab told the Wall Street Journal that it "has not been provided any information or evidence substantiating this alleged incident" and said it "must assume that this is another example of a false accusation".

The Department of Homeland Security banned all US government departments and agencies from using Kaspersky products last month, saying that "malicious cyber actors" could use the company's software to hack into computer files.

The NSA contractor in the Kaspersky incident was not known, and the company he worked for was not identified.

"This action is based on the information security risks presented by the use of Kaspersky products on federal information systems", DHS said at the time.

In 2013, NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed numerous agency's most important surveillance programs and, last year, NSA contractor Harold Martin was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly amassing a large cache of highly-classified documents at his home. An agency official who asked not to be named said the NSA is committed to improving its internal security. Sources say the stolen data could help the Russian government protect itself from NSA spying or find new ways to access USA computer networks.

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The WSJ report doesn't explain how the attack was attributed to the Russian government, nor how Kaspersky was linked to the hack.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News.

The Russian company pushed back on the Journal article.

The breach was believed to be the first time that Kaspersky software, which is sold in the United States, was exploited by Russian hackers as they spied on the US.

The Journal characterizes the breach as "one of the most significant security breaches in recent years" and writes that it "offers a rare glimpse into how the intelligence community thinks Russian intelligence exploits a widely available commercial software product to spy on the U.S".

Also on Thursday, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen called on the Trump administration to "take further steps, including declassifying information on Kaspersky lab to raise awareness".

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