Cybersecurity

Democrat calls for Senate hearings on alleged NSA hack

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called for hearings Thursday on an alleged theft of National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools and other files by Russian state-sponsored hackers.

In a letter to the leadership of the Armed Services Committee, on which Shaheen serves, she wrote: "I urge you to expeditiously schedule a hearing to receive testimony from administration officials, including NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers, about the nature of this security breach and what the federal government is doing to prevent future incidents."

The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab antivirus software to identify valuable files on an NSA contractor's home computer in 2015, which they would go on to steal. Kaspersky has denied involvement, and there is no evidence Kaspersky was aware its software was being used in the scheme.

According to the Journal story, the NSA was unaware of the hack until the spring of last year.

The Department of Homeland Security ordered federal agencies to cease using Kaspersky Lab products in September, but did not reveal any intelligence indicating specific involvement in any security breach.

Shaheen has been heavily involved in reducing Kaspersky Lab's federal footprint and has described the software as a severe security risk.

In an earlier statement after the Journal released its story, Shaheen wrote: "This development should serve as a stark warning, not just to the federal government, but to states, local governments, and the American public, of the serious dangers of using Kaspersky software."

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee announced hearings on Kaspersky Lab software, at which the company founder and head Eugene Kaspersky was set to testify, that were to take place last week. Those hearings were postponed.

Outbrain
View desktop version