WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The revelations by the Moscow-based cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab of an extensive spying program will result in economic consequences for US technology companies and questionable national security benefits for Washington, former Department of Homeland Security official Jim Harper told Sputnik on Tuesday.
“The NSA [National Security Agency] has created immediate economic damage to US companies for speculative and contingent national security benefits,” Harper said of Kaspersky’s report exposing NSA infiltration of hundreds of hard drives built by major manufacturers.
While Kaspersky declined to state that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was behind the program, it did say the program was linked to Stuxnet, which the NSA designed to slow down Iran’s nuclear program.
Kaspersky’s revelations of the program will result in the NSA losing some ability to spy and may have some national security consequences as a result of the lost methods, Harper noted. However, the NSA’s deep infiltration of hard drives in over 42 countries “basically guarantee[s] that these hardware makers will lose business because their products are insecure,” he said.
Responding to Sputnik requests, the NSA said the spy agency is aware of the Kaspersky report but would not comment publicly.
Harper was one of the founders of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. He is currently a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington DC, where he specializes in cybersecurity and digital privacy issues.