An Israeli security agency hacked into Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab in 2015, providing the crucial evidence required to ban the company from providing services to the US government, according to a report.
While the Israeli spies were inside Kaspersky’s systems, they observed Russian spies, in turn, using the company’s tools to spy on American spies, the New York Times reports.
That information, handed to the US, led to the decision in September to end the use of the company’s software across the federal government by December.
The revelation answers some questions about the unfolding saga around Kaspersky Lab, a previously well-regarded information security firm founded in 1997 by Russian national Eugene Kaspersky.
It seems to demonstrate why the US believes Kaspersky Lab software was involved in the hacking of an NSA contractor in 2015, as well as narrows down the nature of Kaspersky Lab’s supposed involvement in the Russian operation.