Kaspersky Lab Defends Its Reputation Against Allegations

Thursday Jul 13th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Russian security firm shoots back at critics that allege inappropriate ties with Putin government.

Kaspersky Lab has had a tough time in recent weeks as the Russia-based security firm has been accused of deep connections with Russia-based hacking efforts.

On July 11, the U.S. government removed Kaspersky Lab General Services Administration's (GSA) list for approved vendors that can be used in the federal government. The move comes after U.S. officials, including Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command leader, testified before a Senate committee in May about potential risks from Kaspersky Lab software.

For its part, Kaspersky Lab has denied the accusations about inappropriate involvement with the Russian government and its alleged offensive cyber-security activities.

"Regardless of how the facts are misconstrued to fit in with a hypothetical, false theory, Kaspersky Lab, and its executives, do not have inappropriate ties with any government," the company stated. "The company does regularly work with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world with the sole purpose of fighting cybercrime."

There have also been allegations made against Kaspersky Lab that it has actively 'hacked back' against organizations and has actively participated in raids with Russian law enforcement officials.

"Hacking back is illegal, and Kaspersky Lab has never been involved in such activities," the company stated. "Instead we are actively participating in joint shut-down of botnets led by law enforcements of several countries where the company provides technical knowledge."
 Kaspersky Lab added that when assisting in official Russian cybercrime investigations, in accordance with Russian law, the company only provides technical expertise throughout the investigation to help catch cybercriminals.

"Concerning raids and physically catching cybercriminals, Kaspersky Lab might ride along to examine any digital evidence found, but that is the extent of our participation, as we do not track hackers' locations," the company stated.

In a letter sent to Kaspersky Lab partners, company founder Eugene Kaspersky reiterated his position.

"I want to reassure you, our valued partner - there is no evidence because no such inappropriate ties exist," he wrote in reference to the Russian government allegations. "While Kaspersky Lab regularly works with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world to fight cybercrime, the company has never helped nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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