Posts Tagged ‘Eugene Kaspersky’

US agencies banned from using Russia’s Kaspersky software

September 14, 2017

Federal agencies in the US have 90 days to wipe Kaspersky software from their computers. Officials are concerned about the Russian company’s ties to the Kremlin and possible threats to national security.

Headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow (Getty Images/AFP/K. Kudryavtsev)

The administration of US President Donald Trump has ordered government agencies to remove products made by Russian company Kaspersky Labs from their computers.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Wednesday it was concerned that the cybersecurity firm was susceptible to pressure from Moscow and thus a potential threat to national security.

Read more: Facebook, Russia and the US elections – what you need to know

DHS said in a statement that it was “concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies,” as well as Russian laws that might compel Kaspersky to hand over information to the government.

But the makers of the popular anti-virus software have said “no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions.”

US tech retailer Best Buy confirmed earlier Wednesday that it would no longer sell Kaspersky products, but has declined to give further details on the decision.

Ties between Kaspersky, Kremlin ‘alarming’

Civilian government agencies have 90 days to completely remove Kaspersky software from their computers. The products have already been banned in the Pentagon.

US congressional leaders have applauded the move. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the “strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are alarming and well-documented,” and asked the DHS if the company’s products were used for any critical infrastructure, such as for voting systems, banks and energy supply.

Although Kaspersky Labs was founded by a KGB-trained entrepreneur, Eugene Kaspersky, and has done work for Russian intelligence, the company has repeatedly denied carrying out espionage on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

es/cmk (AP, Reuters)


U.S. Senate moves to ban Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab over ties to Russia

June 29, 2017

The Hill

Senate moves to ban Moscow-based cybersecurity firm over ties to Russia
© Getty Images

The Senate’s draft of the Department of Defense’s budget rules reveals a provision that would block the use of products from the Russian-based global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, citing concerns that the company “might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.”

Reuters reporter Dustin Volz first shared the news in a tweet Wednesday.

“BREAKING: Senate draft of [National Defense Authorization Act] bans use of Kaspersky products by [Department of Justice] due to reports company “might be vulnerable to Russian [government] influence,” Volz tweeted.

The decision to ban the products within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which specifies budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense, comes after the FBI visited at least 10 Kaspersky employee’s homes.

The investigative agency, however, has not yet contacted the company.While Kaspersky is based in Russia, the company has research centers around the world, including in the U.S.

“As a private company, Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage efforts,” the company said in a reissued statement.

“The company has a 20-year history in the IT security industry of always abiding by the highest ethical business practices, and Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations,” the statement continued. “Kaspersky Lab is available to assist all concerned government organizations with any ongoing investigations, and the company ardently believes a deeper examination of Kaspersky Lab will confirm that these allegations are unfounded.”

Its founder, Eugene Kaspersky, has also offered to testify in front Congress after NBC News reported that its employees were largely asked about their relationship between the U.S. and Russian.

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Eugene Kaspersky

Russia’s ‘Cyber Security King’ Accused of sabotaging his competitors, helping Russian spies — He says he has nothing to hide

October 6, 2015
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, speaks in Washington on June 4, 2013

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab


Latest update : 2015-10-06

Accused of helping Russian spies and sabotaging his competitors, Eugene Kaspersky tells FRANCE 24 he is innocent and has “nothing to hide”.

Empty-handed, Eugene Kaspersky obediently backs away from the buffet. A waitress has just told him off for picking up a carrot stick before the party has begun. Little did she know he paid for the lavish networking-do at the ‘Les Assises’ cyber conference in Monaco. Everyone else, bar the catering staff, knows exactly who he is.

“I was expecting Eugene Kaspersky’s party to be all about red meat and vodka. But instead it’s all salads and champagne,” said Canadian security expert Ben Marzouk. “To see him here as sweet as a lamb, well, that’s killed the myth.”

Eugene Kaspersky is equally famous and feared in cyber circles. At 16, he was selected to study cryptography at a school partially funded by the KGB. By the time he was 24, he had created his first anti-virus software to protect his own computer.

Eight years later he founded Kaspersky Lab, which is now one of the biggest anti-virus makers in the world, with 460 million users and 711 million euros in annual profit. His firm has impressed critics by revealing real cyber threats like the Equation Group, a highly sophisticated attack team it believes helped create the Stuxnet virus.

Today the Russian billionaire spends most of his working life on a global PR drive trying to convince governments, companies and individuals to trust him and his anti-virus software.

Allegations of aiding Russian espionage

The news agency Reuters says it has evidence Kaspersky Lab deliberately created fake, harmless viruses in 2009 to trick its competitors into deleting important files on their customers’ PCs. The alleged aim was to expose firms Kaspersky believed were using his technology instead of developing their own. Reuters sources claim Kaspersky told his researchers to attack rival AVG by “rubbing them out in the outhouse,” quoting Vladmir Putin’s threat to pursue Chechen rebels wherever.

But the allegations have failed to convince everyone in the industry.

When France 24 spoke to Jeffrey Carr, the American CEO of security firm Taia Global, he said he didn’t know if Reuters’ claims were true or false. “We should be sceptical since the accusers are both anonymous and have an axe to grind against their former employer,” he said.

Kaspersky called Reuters’ claims “ludicrous”, saying the fake virus attack also affected his company.

“It remains a mystery who staged the attack, but now I’m being told it was me!”

Another news outlet, Bloomberg, has accused Kaspersky Lab’s senior management of handing over customer data to help the KGB’s successor, the FSB, carry out spying. It also claims Kaspersky regularly attends banya (sauna) sessions in Moscow with Russian spies.

Kaspersky insists the Russian authorities have no hold over his firm. “There were no cases when we were asked about sharing data we got from customers,” he told FRANCE 24. “There is no way. I’m in the IT business and it’s not possible to pressure us. Our value is our brains, which can travel.”

“Everyone is spying on each other”

Yves Grandmontagne, a journalist who has been covering cyber news for twenty years, says it is hard to believe governments, in Russia or anywhere else, could resist calling on the expert services of domestic firms with access to customer data from around the world.

It is “more than plausible” that Kaspersky Lab hands over its clients’ data to the Russian government, he said. “But we should look at ourselves in the mirror. Because … the Americans are at it, the British, the French, everyone is spying on each other.”

There’s nothing new or extraordinary about firms working with their respective governments, Carr said.“Everyone wants to support their own government’s goals and policies, and will do what they’ve been contracted to do.”

Can you trust foreign cyber security firms at all?

But to protect themselves against international attacks, governments and companies have little choice but to work with non-domestic cyber security providers.

“If governments and companies only use tools developed domestically, they will not acquire the best ones available to suit their particular needs,” said Grandmontagne.

Layered, complex threats are coming from outside the country, so the solutions need to as well.

Admiral Dominique Riban, second in command of the French Government’s IT security agency ANSSI, believes “you can trust Kaspersky on your personal computer. But if you’re working in an important industry, trust will need to be built up over time. And when it comes to national defence and classified information, there are times we won’t call on the services of a Russian or American firm, or any other nationality.”

“France doesn’t have friends in the cyber world. We have enemies, and we have allies,” he said.