Russia obtains US government hacking secrets from NSA home PC

Published on: 10 Oct 2017

Hackers working for the Russian government stole data from the National Security Agency (NSA) regarding cyber defence techniques used by the US government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The breach has been dubbed the most serious in years and could enable Russia to evade NSA surveillance and more easily infiltrate US networks.

It is believed to have come about after an NSA contractor placed the highly classified data on his home computer. The data, which includes details on how the US penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyber attacks, was then compromised through the home PC’s Kaspersky antivirus software.

This hacking approach hasn’t been explained yet but TechCrunch suspects it may be related to the practice of downloading and storing files it thought were suspicious (e.g. malware executables) on its servers.

Even if Kaspersky is entirely innocent in this incident, the Russia-based security software company won’t like being linked to this NSA breach after the White House ordered all Kaspersky programs to be wiped from all government systems earlier this year over fears of links to the Kremlin.