Recently, Russia gave North Korea a cyber lifeline. Following that, Russia’s true intentions began to emerge.

Hackers who worked for the Russian government were able to steal classified data from the National Security Agency. According to the people familiar with the case, confidential information of US cyber capabilities were filched by these Russian hackers while an NSA employee was routinely running Russian antivirus software on his computer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A clandestine operation

According to the NSA employee, he brought home classified material to work on it on his desktop.

Unfortunately, he used the Kaspersky Lab antivirus software. This paved way for the Russian hackers to observe the confidential files, Reuters reported.

The stealth of Russia

The breach enabled the Russian government to detect and avoid, more efficiently, any cyber espionage operation by the United States government. Moreover, Russia could now effectively thwart defensive measures and track US. activities, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The case was among the first concrete evidence why the intelligence community of the United States was strongly convinced that Kaspersky Lab software was apparently a Russian espionage tool.

Although the case dates back to 2015, it was never made public. However, federal prosecutors have continued their investigation on this incident, The Washington Post reported.

But the National Security Agency refused to give comments on the cyber breach.

Furthermore, the NSA employee involved in the breach was actually a United States citizen born in Vietnam. Being assigned to the Tailored Access Operations, he was able to work with the National Security Agency’s elite hacking division. Tailored Access Operations was responsible for developing tools that penetrate computers abroad to gather foreign intelligence.

In November of 2015, he got fired, unfortunately. However, NSA did not actually think that he would have taken the confidential files for malicious purposes like giving them to a spy agency overseas.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the cyber breach served as a “stark warning” to the American nation of the obviously grave dangers of using Kaspersky software. Senator Shaheen, a vocal critic of Kaspersky, pushed for the ban of the Kaspersky software in federal networks.

But Kaspersky Lab denied that it had ties to Russia.