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Hackers of Russian Government Exploited Antivirus Software to Steal Cyber Capabilities of U.S.


According to several people having knowledge about this matter, hackers who are working for Russian Govt. stole details about how US penetrates networks of foreign computer as well as defends against the cyber attacks after a contractor of National Security Agency (NSA) removed extremely classified material and then put that on the home computer. One of world's utmost notoriously secretive as well as powerful govt. agencies, NSA guarded their powerful hacking tools along with huge caches of the collected data under layers of security clearances as well as world-class technical protections.

Wall Street Journal first reported that NSA has refused commenting on the breach. According to the first report of The Wall Street Journal citing unknown sources; the theft includes information about penetrating the foreign computer networks along with safeguarding against the cyber attacks, and might be seen as one of most important security breaches till date. The news comes in the midst of a series of concern about several ways by which the Russian government might have tampered the US election.

Later on, The Washington Post reported that the employee worked in Tailored Access Operations unit of NSA for the elite hackers prior to getting fired in 2015. Stolen files contained details regarding how NSA breaks the networks of foreign computer in their cyber defense operations as well as cyber espionage. Slate.com posted on October 5th, 2017, stating that it means Russian Govt. may now have keys to infiltrate the computer networks of US Govt., and might even know the way to guard itself against intelligence operations of US.

The stolen secrets were very bad, however the attack might also seem to reveal that the Russian hackers are using the commercial software for conducting the wide-reaching surveillance in trying to ID hacking targets. One of biggest vendors of antivirus software for consumers in world, Kaspersky, the Russian company, has more than 400 Mn users. Kaspersky refuses that the proof will implicate the security organization.

The report of WSJ does not describe the way by which the attack was attributed to Russian Govt., or how was Kaspersky got linked to the hack. It is difficult to attribute the blame of hacking operations, and lack of public scrutiny of this hack means that the attribution to Russian Govt. is not certain at all.

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