Well this is Interesting…

Is Kaspersky in Hot Water??

The Russian newspaper Kommersant recently broke news regarding the arrest of Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of Kaspersky Lab’s investigations unit.  Stoyanov was arrested in December for treason allegations.  It is reported Stoyanov served as a major to the cybercrime unit of Russia’s Ministry of Interior for six years prior to his employment with Kaspersky.  It is unclear if he had entirely severed these ties, while working for the Moscow-based antivirus company.

ArsTechnica was provided the following statement from company officials,

“The case against this employee does not involve Kaspersky Lab,” company officials wrote in a statement issued following the report. “The employee, who is Head of the Computer Incidents Investigation Team, is under investigation for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab. We do not possess details of the investigation. The work of Kaspersky Lab’s Computer Incidents Investigation Team is unaffected by these developments.”

Paul Rosenzweig reported on this issue to Lawfare,

The incident raises some questions that need consideration:

  • The ability of Russian CI to identify a Kaspersky employee as an American intelligence source suggests, again, that the Russian government has close operational ties with Kaspersky.  In light of that, should Kaspersky be publicly identified as a Russian-controlled system by the US government?
  • Do we need a risk assessment of the extent to which Kaspersky anti-virus products are used in critical American infrastructure?

Russian Loyalty?

The Moscow-based company has strong ties to the Russian government and military.  This shouldn’t come as breaking news.  As of 2012, the company shifted its focus considerably, after Kaspersky scotched an IPO partnership with investment firm General Atlantic.  Which according to Bloomberg Businessweek, lead to an internal email being circulated stating the company’s highest positions would be held only by Russians.  The company denies that the e-mail was ever sent.

Having ties to the government isn’t necessarily a bad thing; however, it depends on how these ties are used.  Since this is a well-known security solution used world-wide, they have accessibility to a plethora of data.  Again, it is all about how they use it.

Wait–They’re Russian Based?

You didn’t know Kaspersky was based in Moscow?  It is likely many of their users don’t.  To find out where your security solution is researched, developed and supported, click here.

 

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29 thoughts on “Well this is Interesting…

  1. You all realize that this site is run by PC Matic, right? Any guess as to why it, as well as the RSS feeds and mail from PC Matic, always finds bad things about their competitors? I dumped the RSS feed, since it was really just ads.

  2. I am surprised that some correspondents were not aware that Kaspersky is a Russian company. Personally I have less problem with it being Russian than I would if it were Western. I live in the UK where our government now have access to everybody’s use of the Internet and private emails. It does not require much imagination to see that an Orwellian future lies ahead, where our government (and agencies like M15) manipulate both the press, media and the population at large for the benefit of an inner sanctum of ‘the establishment’. Thanks to the enlightened work of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning we know something of this. By comparison, I see Russia as little threat to myself and my children and what we choose to do in our private life.

    • @Peter Williams:
      I agree – absolutely correct!
      What surprises me is that many people who use this software were or are not aware that it is Russian.
      I knew this even though I do not use it, being a committed Linux user.

  3. I never knew that Kaspersky was Russian based, With all the news about Russian based hacking, probably backed by the Russian government, this raises some very important questions. Are their any relationships between the involved hacking groups and Kaspersky? How loyal are the Kaspersky executives to their country, and if called to do so, would they/have they cooperated with any of the hacking? If so, does their software include any backdoors or other related mechanisms that could compromise the security of American (or any other not Russian) computer systmes?

    I am now very weary to the use of any of their products and would advise caution to anyone else who uses or would consider using any of their products!!!

  4. So Melania is from Estonia does it mean that she is a Russian agent?
    Or ESET from Estonia does it mean that is controlled by the NSA?
    Humm may be

    • Melania and Trump have been married for over 10 years. The Clintons were guests at their wedding. So he did circulate in high Democratic circles (no doubt because of his money). I don’t know that the Russians foresaw him as a future president, however Donald’s penchant for beautiful women does pose a risk in some respects, although it appears he has been faithful to Melania (and why not, she’s still good looking). Although he can afford the very best doctors, he is getting to an age when his ability to perform could be shrinking. This reduces the possibility of a Mata Hari tempting him.
      In any event I appreciate what PC Matic is attempting to do – stand up for America! I don’t care if it prospers them. Why shouldn’t it?

  5. Wow, I honestly did not even think to check where they are headquartered, developed and supported from. They came highly recommended by others I know. So where do we go from here?

    • You can go to this website. Click on the drop down box by the map and select “Research”, “Development” or “Headquarters”. The map will then populate and you can hover over any mapped point to see which company it is.

  6. Interesting, yes, but it’s possible he’s being shaken down for money.

    Russians do things a little differently than we do. It’s not that their system is bad and ours is good, they are just different. Obama used the IRS to go after conservatives, the Russians are known to use government agencies to go after people who owe back taxes.

    • @Alan Robbins: The IRS misused the IRS and Obama and the “deceitocrats” helped them get away with it. However, to say, “It’s not that their system is bad and ours is good, they are just different” is plain stupid. America has flaws, big flaws, but on our worst day, we “ain’t” Russia on its best day.

      • @D J W: Please explain how what you are referring to concerning the IRS. Are you speaking about the 501c3 debacle? If so, then please explain what YOU think they did wrong there. I know what I think they did wrong and that was giving the PACs in question, the exemption they requested even though they do not qualify by the very letter of the law concerning the 501c3 organizations.

        I also wonder if you were aware that the IRS, at least at that time was run by a RepubliCON. Or that it was a RepubliCON that actually did the investigating the organizations in question?

  7. So what if it has ties to the Government? I don’t see how that makes it a bad thing or anything, or is a thing nowadays to mark everything that is related to the government as bad?

        • George. I can only speak for the UK. I’m 70 and over the last 40 years I have learned that there is no such thing as “consultation”. Central and Local Goverment make a big thing about “consultation”. It’s simply ‘window dressing’ to keep the masses quiet. Years ago, I worked as a consultant for a Charity where the CEO had been a Member of Parliament. He always spoke of the charity members as “punters” and over several years watching as he manipulated them I realised that he had been up the the same game as a minister in politics. Even at a Local level, by the time Planners get to “Public Consultation” you can bet that the die is cast. When your 70, if you live in the UK and if you have dealings with Local and Central government you will become as cynical as me. I would sooner trust Putin than any of the people that govern me. Things may be different in the States but since I wouldn’t have trusted Hillary Clinton as far as I could throw her on her record in Congress, it was no surprise that Trump managed to garner enough support to become President.

  8. Fascinating fact about Kaspersky. I certainly knew that the company was based in Russia but did not know exactly where. Thank you for that information.

    I am a PC-Matic subscriber and am having a problem with a dual boot machine on which Ubuntu and Win 10 reside.

    I used PC-Matic to examine the Windows partitions but since that occasion the machine will not run Windows and will only boot to Ubuntu Linux that is not above version 3.x.x. While I do not attribute this directly to how PC-Matic works, I don’t know of any thing I did which may have scrambled both the Win and Linux partitions.

    Perhaps someone there can assist me with some suggestions to restore the machine to it’s proper configuration.

    Thank you

    Gardner L. Harris
    Garden Grove, CA

    • @Gardner L. Harris:
      If you can only boot into Linux, this is due to the boot loader configuration, nothing to do with Windows or PC Matic at all. I suggest seeking assistance from the Ubuntu forums on how to set up the Bootloader correctly for dual-booting again

    • @Gardner L. Harris: Your problem is with the fact that Linux has a problem with not being first. It overwrote your boot sector, leaving only itself to be seen. Just google “how to restore windows boot to dual boot with linux partition” …or something to that effect. It’s a command line process.

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