The acknowledgement, made in an interview last Friday as part of the Reuters Cyber Security Summit, Comes days after Kaspersky’s company said its software had copied a file containing U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) hacking tools from the home computer of an agency worker in 2014.
The company has been under suspicion for years that it has links with Russian intelligence and state-sponsored hackers. Kaspersky has denied links and cooperation with Russian authorities beyond cybercrime enforcement.
As a result, the U.S. department of Homeland Security banned Kaspersky software from use in federal offices, citing the company’s ties with Russian intelligence.
According to a report, the company is the subject of a long –running probe by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.’
Antivirus software is designed to burrow deeply into computer systems and has broad access to their contents, but it normally seeks and destroys only files that contain viruses or are otherwise threatening to a customer’s computers, leaving all other files untouched.
“The NSA tools were copied because they were part of a larger file that had been automatically flagged as malicious,” Eugen Kaspersky at Kapersky Lab’s office in Moscow said in an interview.
According to experts; if searching for and copying files contain hacking tools or clues about cyber criminals could hack that would not be part of the normal antivirus software operations.
Kaspersky added that he had ordered the file to be deleted” within days” because it contained U.S. government secrets.
U.S. news organizations have reported that Kaspersky, or Russian spies hijacking its service, have been widely searching among customers’ computers for secret files, citing anonymous U.S, intelligence officials. Reuters has not verified such report.