The Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky claims to have 400 million users of Kaspersky Lab security software across the globe. All these users will be rethinking their choice in the upcoming days as the events regarding potential risks are unfolding. There is talk that the Russian company has ties to Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service).
This is a cause for great concern for the United States. The huge reach of Kaspersky’s technology is partly the result of licensing agreements that allow customers to quietly embed the software in everything from firewalls to sensitive telecommunications equipment. None of which carries the Kaspersky name. Antivirus is a very sensitive program as it has access to every single file on the computer. If compromised, it can be a huge security hazard.
Senate Intelligence Committee
During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in the month of May, the heads of the six major US intelligence agencies were asked if they would be comfortable using the software on their computers. The decision was unanimously against it.
In July, the US Senate Armed Services Committee proposed prohibiting the Department of Defense from utilizing Kaspersky Lab products…
“due to reports that the Moscow-based company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence,”
While the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology for the US House of Representatives requested that all 22 government agencies share their documentation and communications regarding the company.
Eugene Kaspersky has denied these claims by the US and used Reddit to term them as “unfounded conspiracy theories.” The company went on to say…
“When statements are taken out of context, anything can be manipulated to serve an agenda. Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments around the world to protect those organizations from cyberthreats, but it does not have any unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russia.”
Removed From Best Buy
The product was commonly found on the shelves of Best Buy, the electronics retailer. Based on these recent facts coming to light, the store has decided to take the product off their shelves. They have not carried out an official inquiry into this but claim that there are too many unanswered questions for now. They are also allowing the customers who have purchased the software and have active subscriptions to exchange with another product within 45 days.
Kaspersky Lab is still adamant that these claims are false and denies them saying that the company…
“has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts.”
They still hope that the decision will be taken back by Best Buy in the near future. The Kaspersky Lab product is still available at Amazon and Walmart for their customers.