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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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The sign on Kaspersky Lab's headquarters in Moscow. Photo: Pavel Golovkin / AP

The head of Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab confirmed that his company's anti-virus software copied hacking tools from the National Security Agency to its servers but promptly deleted them upon learning of their existence, per the AP.

Why it matters: Kaspersky has been suspected of having ties to the Russian government — which the company denies — and it has come under scrutiny since the revelation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, especially given the wide use of its popular anti-virus program in the United States. The U.S. government ordered Kaspersky's software to be removed from government-owned computers last month.

How Kaspersky says it happened: A member of a secret NSA hacking group uploaded the classified surveillance tools to his home computer, which became infected with a virus thanks to a pirated copy of Microsoft Office. Kaspersky's anti-virus program flagged the NSA tools as suspicious in the process — a common feature of anti-virus software — and uploaded them to its own server for analysis.

The big question: Was the incident genuinely an accident or did Kaspersky set its software to seek out such classified information? Kaspersky Lab and its owner, Eugene Kaspersky, denied deliberately searching for classified code, though he stopped short of telling the AP if he'd notified the NSA of his company's find.

Go deeper: The NYT report about Israel discovering Kaspersky's NSA download.

And don't forget: The FBI paid a secretive visit to Kaspersky employees back in June.

Go deeper

28 mins ago - Health

Health care in the New Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As America emerges from the pandemic, here's a special Axios AM Deep Dive on the Biden administration's health care agenda.

44 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

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