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    Kaspersky Lab Cannot Confirm NSA Behind Espionage Program on 30 Countries

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    Ealier this week, the Moscow-based internet security company published a report saying that spying software operated by a hacker group had infected over 500 computers in over 30 countries including Iran, Russia, China and Syria. The revelations triggered media reports about the US NSA being behind the espionage.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — Kaspersky Lab cannot confirm that the US National Security Agency (NSA) or any other intelligence agency is behind the discovered cyberespionage program affecting at least 30 countries, the company told Sputnik on Thursday.

    On Monday, the Moscow-based internet security company published a report saying that spying software operated by a hacker group dubbed the Equation Group had infected over 500 computers in over 30 countries including Iran, Russia, China and Syria. The revelations triggered media reports about the US National Security Agency being behind the espionage.

    "Our experts have never spoken about the relation of the Equation Group to any organizations. Kaspersky Lab does not have data sufficient to make any conclusions about the origins of this threat," Kaspersky Lab communications officer told Sputnik.

    The malware intercepts confidential data from computers in governmental bodies, embassies, as well as nuclear research, oil and gas, military and financial organizations. Moreover, the program targeted Islamic activists and scholars, as well as the media, particularly in Afghanistan.

    "Perhaps most concerning of all is the fact that… the media in a number of countries were among the targets. This has profound implications for freedom of expression," Canadian Internet advocacy group Open Media spokesman David Christopher told Sputnik.

    The Kaspersky Lab spokeswoman explained that the vulnerability of computers could be reduced by using up-to-date anti-virus software.

    Although Kaspersky Lab did not identify any country in particular as being behind the spying program, it said that the malware is similar to Stuxnet, a worm, allegedly used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to infiltrate Iranian nuclear reactor systems in 2010.

    Related:

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    Russia Improving Electronic Security in Response to NSA Spyware - Lawmaker
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    espionage, National Security Agency (NSA), Kaspersky Lab, United States, Russia
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