The rise and fall of Kaspersky?

Discussion in 'Security and Anti-Virus Software' started by Papusan, Sep 9, 2017.


Will this be the fall for Kaspersky?

  1. YES

    12 vote(s)
  2. NO

    9 vote(s)
  1. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOK's Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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    The stone continue rolling....
    Kaspersky no longer works with EU after the parliamentary
    Software developer Kaspersky Lab ends its cooperation with European institutions after the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution. The resolution describes the programs of the company as malicious.

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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    On Kaspersky’s 'transparency tour' the truth was clear as mud
    'America wants to destroy us for defusing its cyber weapons, but we're clean' is the story

    By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor 26 Jun 2018 at 07:32

    "Kaspersky Labs is on a "Transparency Tour" in which the company attempts to persuade us all that it is not a danger to anyone except cyber-criminals and will soon open a "transparency lab" to prove it.

    The company sent some heavy-hitters to Sydney, Australia, to make those points today: veep for public affairs Anton Shingarev and managing director for Asia Pacific Stephan Neumeier sat down with the media over sandwiches and salads to make their pitch.

    The gist of the company's argument is that it is completely innocent, makes great products, is shocked – shocked! – by the allegations made against it and believes its troubles stem from being made pawn in a game of geopolitical chess.

    That happened because so many of its developers reside in Russia, which makes it easy to smear the company.

    "This backfires us," Shingarev said, but added that the company doesn't want to move its developers because they're good at what they do. And cheap, too, compared to coders in other climes.

    Shingarev and Neumeier then advanced a theory that during their fearless mission to hunt down malware regardless of its source, Kaspersky researchers discovered, defused and exposed cyber weapons developed by several nation states. State actors build such weapons using arms-length deals with contractors, they alleged, so getting grumpy with Kaspersky in public was not an option.

    But the US was angry at having its efforts stymied, so retaliated by smearing Kaspersky. Hence the ban on sales of the company's products to US government agencies justified by allegations that Kaspersky poses a national security risk.

    That risk, the pair added, has been downgraded: when the ban was first imposed the pair said the company was identified as a real and present danger. These days they said a mere "potential" threat is used as justification for the ban and the change in language tells you all you need to know about its sincerity.

    Pressed by The Register, neither exec had evidence to support the theory. But they pointed out that we all know about tensions between the US and Russia, we can all see there's a trade war going on, Kaspersky sales are growing in the rest of the world and it's therefore obvious the company copped some blowback in a game bigger than any of us can really comprehend.

    Neumeier also said the fact that only the US has taken action against Kaspersky proves the geopolitical skulduggery theory.

    At which point The Register pointed out the 28 nations of the European Union last week passed a non-binding motion that said Kaspersky products have been "confirmed as malicious".

    Neumeier's response was to say that Kaspersky Lab had been aware of that wording for months, and also aware of Polish Euro-MP Anna Elżbieta Fotyga's belief that the company represents a danger. Neumeier said Fotyga was responsible for the wording in the motion and that other MPs only included it under sufferance. Fotyga, he added, ignored two requests for meetings with Kaspersky at which the company hoped to explain itself. The head of a committee she sits on went one better and ignored three offers to meet.

    Neumeier therefore felt that last week's motion was made without Kaspersky having fair opportunity to explain itself. Throw in the fact that Fotyga's first question relied on accounts of the US's unfair actions and Kaspersky thinks it's again been given the rough end of the pineapple.

    Time for transparency
    Despite being the victim of geopolitical forces no company could hope to control, Kaspersky thinks it can silence the doubters by being more transparent.

    Hence its plan to move its data storage to Switzerland – yes, that Switzerland, the one with fabulous secrecy laws. Shingarev and Neumeier said those laws are a good thing for the company's customers, as it will keep their data away from prying eyes. If it had any data worth having anyway, which the pair said Kaspersky doesn't because it just needs basic details to go about its business.

    Zurich will also house a "Transparency Lab" where the pair said the world will be able to come in and see... something.

    Shingarev said the lab will see one of the big four consultancies review the company's source code and verify that it is indeed compiled into the company's products. He also mentioned a regime that will allow inspection of product updates to defend against allegations that a routine virus signature update can turn Kaspersky's products into something nasty for a few hours.

    The company is also promising source code reviews for customers and/or maybe also by a consortium of universities whose collective eyeballing will make it possible to get through all three million lines of code.

    There's also a plan to have a verification organisation examine Kaspersky's development processes to certify nothing naughty takes place. Shingarev said we'll all be very impressed once we learn the identity of that organisation, which is already in talks with Kaspersky to define the role.

    Shingarev said he hopes the Transparency Lab will be up and running by the end of 2018, but that it's a lot of work so maybe it'll be hard to hit the deadline. Nor could he guarantee when the transparency activities will commence.

    Asked by The Register what a visitor to the lab will be able to see, he mentioned the university source code review and nothing more specific.

    Whatever goes on in the lab, Shingarev said Kaspersky plans another two: one in Asia, one in North America.

    Neumeier added that it won't be long before Kaspersky is recognised as an Uber-style disruptor for having the foresight to operate such a lab.

    Sinned against or sinner?
    Shingarev and Neumeier remained plausibly sincere, upbeat and earnest during a 90-minute question-and-answer session, never wavering from their assertions of complete innocence and victimhood.

    So is the company a sinner, or sinned against?

    The "America wants to destroy us" argument was delivered with broad brush strokes, but zero evidence. The Transparency Lab was touted as offering incontrovertible proof of Kaspersky's innocence, but with few details on how it might be made apparent or when it will operate at maximum transparency.

    And left entirely un-discussed was the issue that a technology company with ties to a state doesn't need to have leaky products to represent a threat: a company's people can conduct espionage that software cannot, while a network of innocent and ignorant partners can be made vectors for subtle attacks or intelligence-gathering efforts.

    For what it's worth, I came away feeling that Kaspersky Labs doth protest too much. But what it's hiding I have no idea."

    Starlight5, Papusan and Vasudev like this.
  3. Vistar Shook

    Vistar Shook Notebook Deity

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  4. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOK's Sucks! Dont waste your $$$ on FILTHY

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    Yeah, damn nice. Great that things like this come up in the light.

    Kaspersky AV injected unique ID that allowed sites to track users, even in incognito mode

    Feature Kaspersky added in 2015 also made it possible to be ID'd across different browsers | 8/16/2019

    Antivirus software is something that can help people be safer and more private on the Internet. But its protections can cut both ways. A case in point: for almost four years, AV products from Kaspersky Lab injected a unique identifier into the HTML of every website a user visited, making it possible for sites to identify people even when using incognito mode or when they switched between Chrome, Firefox, or Edge...

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  5. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    kaspersky does mention it in Learn More section and stresses that it will slow down system if its low end because Kaspersky interacts with website w/o user knowledge to protect from malwares or ransomwares.
    So, it was disabled on my sister's GP laptop.
    EDIT: Typo fixed...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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