Russian hackers get US cyber defense details from NSA — report

An aerial view shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, US. (REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo)
Updated 05 October 2017
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Russian hackers get US cyber defense details from NSA — report

WASHINGTON: Russian government-backed hackers in 2015 stole US secrets on how to penetrate foreign computer networks and protect against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor put highly classified information on his home computer, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.
The contractor used a popular antivirus software by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab that may have made it possible for the hackers to identify and target the contractor’s files, multiple sources told the Journal.
Experts consider the theft, which was not discovered until the spring of 2016, one of the most significant security breaches of recent years, the newspaper said, including details of how the NSA penetrates foreign computer networks, the computer code it uses for such spying and how it defends networks inside the United States, the sources told the Journal.
Kaspersky Lab could not immediately be reached for comment. The Wall Street Journal quoted the firm as saying it “has not been provided any information or evidence substantiating this alleged incident, and as a result, we must assume that this is another example of a false accusation.”
The National Security Agency did not return a call for comment from Reuters.
US Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Armed Services Committee, chastised the spy agency in a statement: “It’s a lot harder to beat your opponent when they’re reading your playbook, and it’s even worse when someone on your team gives it to them. If these reports are true, Russia has pulled that off,” he said.
.”..The NSA needs to get its head out of the sand and solve its contractor problem.”
The revelation comes amid increased scrutiny of Russian hacking of US targets since the 2016 presidential election and the American intelligence community’s finding that Russians hacked Democratic groups’ computers and tried to sway the outcome in favor of Republican President Donald Trump.
Kaspersky Lab reaches 400 million customers globally and has vigorously denied it spies for the Russian government. The Journal said it was the first known incident of Russian hackers using Kaspersky software to spy on Washington.
The Department of Homeland Security on Sept. 13 banned Kaspersky products in federal networks and the US Senate approved a bill to ban them from use by the federal government, citing concerns the company may be a pawn of the Kremlin and poses a national security risk.
DHS did not immediately return a request for comment. (Reporting by Dustin Volz, Jim Finkle, Warren Strobel; writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


Building collapses into another near Indian capital, 2 die

Updated 30 min 30 sec ago
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Building collapses into another near Indian capital, 2 die

  • Rescuers found it difficult to take cranes and drilling machines to the site where the ground was dug up in places during the construction work
  • Angry residents complained that the two buildings collapsed around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday but the police and fire services reached the site an hour and a half later

NEW DELHI: A six-story building under construction collapsed onto an adjacent building east of the Indian capital, killing at least two people and trapping several others under the debris, police said on Wednesday.
Chief Fire Officer Arun Kumar Singh said at least 12 workers were in the building at the time and are feared trapped under rubble, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The rescuers have so far found two bodies from the debris, police officer Akhilesh Tripathi said.
The second 4-story building also collapsed under the impact of the first building that fell, Tripathi said. The fate of several of its residents was not immediately known.
More than 100 rescuers with cranes, sledgehammers and chain saws worked through the night to remove the debris in Shahberi village, nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of New Delhi, said Krishan Kumar, a rescue agency official.
Drills were being used to remove metal rods to reach those trapped. A dog squad was at the site smelling for signs of life.
The cause of the building collapse was not immediately known.
The National Disaster Response Force, a federal rescue agency, was helping police in the search and rescue operations.
Angry residents complained that the two buildings collapsed around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday (1500 GMT) but the police and fire services reached the site an hour and a half later. The rescue effort was slow to begin with, resident Praveen Srivastava told the New Delhi Television news channel.
Tripathi said the police were looking for the builder for questioning.
Rescuers found it difficult to take cranes and drilling machines to the site where the ground was dug up in places during the construction work and had filled with water from monsoon rains.
Television images showed a police officer dangling from a crane, trying to locate those trapped through the windows of the collapsed building.
Building collapses are common in India during June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of structures that were poorly constructed. The worst collapse in recent decades killed at least 72 people in Mumbai in 2013.