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Germany says 'no evidence' to back reported hack of Russian cyber-security firm

Moscow-based internet security giant Kaspersky has estimated that there are over 1,000 hackers in Russia specialising in financial crime
Kirill Kudryavtsev (AFP/File)
German intelligence agency disputes US claims that the firm collaborated with Kremlin or was hijacked

Germany's domestic BSI intelligence agency said Wednesday that it has "no evidence" to back reports that Russian hackers exploited global civilian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to hunt for classified American intelligence programs.

A New York Times report published Tuesday said that Israeli intelligence officials spying on Russian government hackers observed attempts to piggyback on Kaspersky's government clients to steal US government secrets.

But Germany disputed US officials' claims that the Moscow-based company is either collaborating with the Vladimir Putin's intelligence machine, or is being hijacked by it.

"The BSI has no evidence for misconduct by the company or weaknesses in its software," the German intelligence agency said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"The BSI has no indications at this time that the process occurred as described in the media," it said, adding that it had "no plans" to warn against the use of the firm's products.

The US government banned the use of Kaspersky software in federal offices last month, saying the Moscow-based company has risky ties to Russian intelligence that threatened US national security.

Kaspersky, whose range of products are reportedly used by around 400 million people globally including some 20 government clients, said it was not responsible for the alleged cyber-espionage.

“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber-espionage efforts,” the company said in a statement quoted by the Times.

It has repeatedly denied having anything more than correct business ties to the Kremlin, saying it is "caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight."

Comments

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More likely another example of Russian disinformation to promote further division in West.

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