Suspicions have arisen of the Russian based company Kaspersky Lab recently partly as a response to the current fragile political climate between Russia and the United States as of late.
Kaspersky Lab offers products such as anti-virus and internet security programs to PC users and have been declared by Forbes to be an “anti-virus powerhouse”. A dedicated cybersecurity program provider founded in Moscow, Russia in 1997 by Eugene Kaspersky. Kaspersky has been seen having close working relationships with Russian officials, even being seen meeting them in saunas; furthermore, he moves on to replace many high-level managers with people who had ties to Russia’s military or intelligence services. Allegedly, these new managers have provided data collected from 400 million customers using the Kaspersky cybersecurity software to Russia’s intelligence agency known as the FSB. Kaspersky himself is also known to have completed his education at a government-sponsored university and to have worked at a post-graduate position working for the Russian government. Four state institutions including the KGB sponsored his university and education.
Behind all these suspicions however, there remains support and refutations in favor of Kaspersky. Although his education was sponsored by the Russian government, Eugene grew up in the Soviet Union era, where all institutions were sponsored by the Soviet government, not necessarily connecting Kaspersky’s motivations to support the Russian government. Kaspersky Lab comments “-it was routine for university faculty to determine students’ post-graduate positions.” It seems like Kaspersky is just being put under the microscope of the U.S. government due to his and his company’s origins although his recent actions are reasonably questionable. However, as an attempt to set suspicions aside, Eugene has offered to turn his source code over to the United States while at CebIT in Australia for an in-depth analysis of any breaches of security that benefit Kaspersky or the Russian government.
-Max Rye: IT and Cyber-security Expert