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Remember “The Shadow Brokers” and the arrest of a former NSA contractor accused of stealing 50 Terabytes of top secret documents from the intelligence agency?

It turns out that, Kaspersky Lab, which has been banned in US government computers over spying fears, was the one who tipped off the U.S. government and helped the FBI catch NSA contractor Harold T. Martin III, unnamed sources familiar with the investigation told Politico.

In October 2016, the U.S. government arrested and charged Martin, 51, with theft of highly classified documents, including most sensitive NSA hacking tools and top-secret information about “national defence,” that he siphoned from government computers over the period of two decades.

The breach is believed to be the largest heist of classified government material in America’s history, far bigger than Edward Snowden leaks.

According to the sources, the Antivirus firm learned about Martin after he sent unusual direct messages via Twitter to its two researchers in 2016, just 30 minutes before the Shadow Brokers hacking group began leaking classified NSA hacking tools on the Internet.

“The case unfolded after someone who U.S. prosecutors believe was Martin used an anonymous Twitter account with the name ‘HAL999999999’ to send five cryptic, private messages to two researchers at the Moscow-based security firm,” Politico reports.

“The first message sent on Aug. 13, 2016, asked one of the researchers to arrange a conversation with ‘Yevgeny’ — presumably Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky, whose given name is Yevgeny Kaspersky.”

images from Hacker News