Between breathing new life into North Korea’s internet connection and allegedly hacking NATO soldiers’ smartphones, Russia’s ongoing efforts in cyber espionage and warfare seemingly know no end. Then again, considering the ever-increasing scope of the country’s use of politically targeted Facebook ads in the United States, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nor should a new Wall Street Journal report claiming that Russian hackers infiltrated the National Security Agency in 2015, and at least a full year passed before the NSA realized anything had happened.
According to the report, the hackers targeted a contractor working for the NSA who put highly classified information on his home computer. With the help of anti-virus software developed by Kaspersky Lab, a Russia-based company, they managed to lift the intelligence from the contractor’s personal machine in “one of the most significant security breaches in recent years.” But what did they steal, exactly? Per the WSJ, they recovered “details about how the NSA penetrates foreign computer networks, the computer code it uses for such spying and how it defends networks inside the U.S.” In other words, they got the mother lode, as Russia could conceivably use the information to infiltrate American networks while protecting their own from incursion.
“Whether the information is credible or not, NSA’s policy is never to comment on affiliate or personnel matters,” a spokesperson with the agency told the WSJ. He did, however, note the Defense Department does not use any anti-virus software developed by Kaspersky. Then again, as the report clearly indicates, it was a personal computer (and not a government-owned and operated machine) from which the classified material was stolen. Kaspersky, meanwhile, said there “has not been provided any information or evidence substantiating this alleged incident.” Their spokespeople thereby dubbed it a “false accusation.”
(Via Wall Street Journal)