Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky opens up on allegations

Chennai: A month ago, Kaspersky, one of the leading pioneers in securing cyberspace, faced lot of criticism and allegations from governments with regard to their products.

Despite vulnerabilities, American President  Donald Trump, representing the US government, accused the security firm of having a tie-up with the Russian government.

Refuting these claims, founder and CEO of Kaspersky, Eugene Kaspersky wrote a blog post in the beginning of July.

Two months later, a few media outlets, including ‘Wall Street Journal accused Kaspersky security lab for the NSA data hack. It alleged that the US government issued an order to terminate Kaspersky services in America.

In addition,a few among competitors in cyber security campaigned against the products of Kaspersky with ads. In such a chaotic situation, two weeks back, Kaspersky announced that it will submit the source code of its software and future product updates for review by a broad, cross-section of computer security experts and government officials.

News Today contacted the headquarters of Kaspersky through email and found a few interesting things. Managing Director of South Asia – Kaspersky, Altaf answered those questions.

Excerpts:
Q: Some days back, a few journals accused Kaspersky software for the NSA hack which happened in 2015. What’s your stand on those claims?

A: Kaspersky Lab has not been provided any evidence substantiating the company’s involvement in the alleged incident reported by Wall Street Journal on 5 October 2017, and it is unfortunate that news coverage of unproven claims continue to perpetuate accusations about the company.

However, as the trustworthiness and integrity of our products are fundamental to our business, we are seriously concerned about the article’s implications that attackers may have exploited our software.

We reiterate our willingness to work alongside US authorities to address any concerns they may have about our products and respectfully request any relevant information that would enable the company to begin an investigation at the earliest opportunity.

As a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties with any government, including Russia, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight.

We make no apologies for being aggressive in the battle against malware and cyber criminals. The company actively detects and mitigates malware infections, regardless of the source, and we have been proudly doing so for 20 years, which has led to continuous top ratings in independent malware detection tests.

It’s also important to note that Kaspersky Lab products adhere to the cyber security industry’s strict standards and have similar levels of access and privileges to the systems they protect as any other popular security vendor in the US and around the world.

Q: What has been going on between Kaspersky and the US government?

A: Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and founder of Kaspersky Lab, has repeatedly offered to meet government officials, testify before the US Congress and provide the company’s source code for an official audit to help address any questions the US government has about the company.

Q: Apart from government agencies, a few competitors in the security sector have defamed the firm using ads. The founder has defended the allegations through his Twitter handle. What was the actual issue?

A: Eugene has always stated that we should keep cyber security separate from geopolitics.

Q: Is that a regular business clash or do you sense any other reasons behind those allegations?

A: Kaspersky Lab, a private company, seems to be caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight where each side is attempting to use the company as a pawn in their political game.

Q: Earlier, there was a dispute between Kaspersky and Microsoft and an antitrust complaint filed a few months ago. Has the issue been solved?

A: Kaspersky Lab confirms that all of its concerns regarding the unfair competition law, raised with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, have been addressed.

The company is satisfied with the proposed approach by Microsoft to address the warnings issued by the FAS, and its implementation road map.

Kaspersky Lab is also taking all steps necessary to withdraw its filings to the European Commission and to Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, stating that it has no more claims for Microsoft to address.

Kaspersky Lab and Microsoft have had a long history of cooperation in combating cyber security threats across the world, and over the past months the companies conducted fruitful discussions about how antivirus services should operate in the Windows ecosystem to help ensure a safe environment for Windows users.

Kaspersky Lab is convinced that mutually beneficial cooperation, healthy competition and an open Windows ecosystem have a positive effect on users’ online security and on the development of the IT industry as a whole.

Q: What are the future plans in terms of by-products? Do you plan to enter any other sector?

A: The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Q: Has the firm filed any case with any court against ads by competitors?

A: Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky tweeted about this, last month. ‘When someone can’t win the competition the fair way they jump into political agenda. Bad for industry, bad for customers.’ This tweet is the answer.

         

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