US, UK spies said to attack security software

Spies targeted Kaspersky Labs by reverse engineering its software, said a report in The Intercept

NSA headquarters.

NSA headquarters.

Spies working for the U.S. National Security Agency and its British counterpart found anti-virus and security software a hindrance to their intelligence gathering processes, and worked to thwart it, according to a report Monday in The Intercept.

The efforts, revealed through documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, focused on vendors including Moscow-based security software developer Kaspersky Labs, which claims over 400 million customers worldwide.

The NSA and the U.K.-based Government Communications Headquarters monitored web and email traffic between Kasperksy's software and its servers, the report said, and obtained sensitive customer information in the process.

The spies sought to reverse-engineer Kaspersky's software: according to a warrant renewal request published by The Intercept, the British spy agency saw Kaspersky's software as a barrier to its intelligence gathering processes, and needed to reverse- engineer it to find ways to get around it.

The warrant was designed to give the agency permission to reverse engineer the software, though the report published in The Intercept questioned its legality.

A spokeswoman for Kaspersky said the vendor was closely reviewing the information disclosed in the report, to assess the potential level of risk it may post to its infrastructure.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacydata protectionkaspersky labsExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?