The company representatives told Sputnik that "Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question", referring to allegations made by several Western media outlets regarding Israeli security services tipping off their United States colleagues about Russian hackers employing Kaspersky products for their nefarious alleged activities.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Israeli intelligence officials spying on Russian government hackers found they were using Kaspersky software as a sort of Google search to find sensitive data stored by US government agencies and others.
Kaspersky Lab denied to the Times any knowledge of, or involvement in, the Russian hacking.
The current and former government officials who described the episode spoke about it on condition of anonymity because of classification rules. Kaspersky Lab develops and sells antivirus, internet security, password management, endpoint security, and other cybersecurity products and services.
Kaspersky Lab ranks fourth in the global ranking of antivirus vendors by revenue. What additional American secrets the Russian hackers may have gleaned from multiple agencies, by turning the Kaspersky software into a sort of Google search for sensitive information, is not yet publicly known.
The US Department of Homeland Security ordered all US government agencies to stop using Kaspersky products last month. In turn, the Russian company disclosed the massive security breach, without explicitly naming Israel as the perpetrator. They added there was no evidence of weakness in the software. "Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts", a company statement said on Tuesday in response to the New York Times report.
The extensive system-wide permissions that antivirus software necessitates and the trust it demands of its users make Kaspersky's products an ideal target for governments wishing to spy on their adversaries.
In mid-2015, Kaspersky detected an intrusion in its network and revealed it in a public report, but did not name Israel as the intruder. Information provided by Kaspersky Lab will help experts in cyber-criminology to be more quick and efficient in identification of computer incidents worldwide and curb activities of cybercriminals, the company said.
Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder and chief executive, has repeatedly denied charges his company conducts espionage on behalf of the Russian government.