The cyber security firm rallies against US government allegations of potential spying
Kaspersky has refuted allegations by the US government that it has ties to the Kremlin and that the security firms’s software could be used to aid Russian state-backed hackers.
“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.” Jeffery Esposito, global head of regional social media at Kaspersky posted on the firm’s blog.
Allegations that Kaspersky might be in league with the Russian government surfaced from a report by ABC News which cited US congressional sources as claiming that the Senate Intelligence Committee has begun an investigation into Kaspersky and its relationship with the Russian government.
US government and intelligence officials are apparently concerned that Kaspersky’s software, which is distributed worldwide, could be used to spy on US citizens or launch attacks to sabotage critical infrastructure.
Some of these fears stem out of the fact that Kaspersky is based in Moscow and its founder and chief executive, Eugene Kaspersky was trained by the KGB and worked as an intelligence officer in Soviet Russia’s Red Army.
Kaspersky’s response to such allegations not only vehemently denies any connection with the Russian government, but also highlights that the security firm is in the business if protecting people not spying on them.
“For 20 years, Kaspersky Lab has been focused on protecting people and organisations from cyberthreats, and its headquarters’ location doesn’t change that mission–just as a U.S.-based cybersecurity company doesn’t allow access or send any sensitive data from its products to the U.S. government, Kaspersky Lab products also do not allow any access or provide any private data to any country’s government,” wrote Esposito.
“Unlike in many other products, Kaspersky Lab users have full control over telemetry (data) sharing with their participation being voluntary, and they can disable telemetry reporting completely at any given time.
“In addition, business and government users may choose to install a local and private Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) centre on their premises to make sure the data never leaves their facility.”
Kaspersky’s response concluded with it offering to address any concerns other governments might have over accusations of connections to the Russian government.
Given that several high profile hack attacks have originated from Russia, it could be argued that there is cause for paranoia around the software that leaves the confines of the Russian borders.
Yet Kaspersky as a company has been fairly open about it activities and the security threats it spots, with Eugene Kaspersky seeming looking to build a somewhat messianic position in the cyber security world that would go against any data and snooping collaboration with any government.
It is not uncommon for technology companies to not comply with government requests, as seen with Apple’s clash with the FBI last year over orders to decrypt an iPhone 5S used by a gunman.
Are you a security pro? Try our quiz!