Kaspersky Lab Offers Source Code to U.S. Government

Speaking in Australia today, founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky made the latest overture in his effort to clear his company of claims that its alleged ties to the Russian government pose a national security threat for users of its cybersecurity software.

Aldrin Brown, Editor-in-Chief

May 24, 2017

2 Min Read
Kaspersky Lab Offers Source Code to US Government

The head of Kaspersky Lab is offering to turn over to U.S. officials the source code for its software products in a latest effort to dispel fears that the Moscow-based firm’s cybersecurity tools contain “back doors” that could be exploited by the Russian government.

Founder and CEO Eugene Kaspersky made the comments to The Australian newspaper in Sydney, where he is a keynote speaker at the CeBIT Australia business technology fair.

Questions about the ntegrity of Kaspersky Lab software were thrust into the headlines this month after a report on social news site BuzzFeed said a review is underway to determine the extent to which Kaspersky products are being used by government agencies and how to get rid of them.x

Days later, the heads of several U.S. intelligence agencies told a Senate committee hearing that they would not feel comfortable using Kaspersky products in their organizations.

 “It’s suicide,” Kaspersky told The Australian about the risks of planting vulnerabilities in software for use by the U.S. government. “It would not only kill the business, but you’d have to save your life somewhere in a jungle, in the Amazon River or in Siberia.”

Kaspersky has already said he would be willing to testify before Congress and added to that offer today.

“(I) would give them the source code for checking,” he’s quoted as saying. “When we have government contracts, in some cases we’re asked to disclose our technologies – and we do it.”

Kaspersky attended a Russian intelligence academy and worked as a cybersecurity engineer for Russian military intelligence.

And while many of his employees also came from the ranks of Russian intelligence, he rejected assertions that they could or would compromise the company’s software.

“We do have former employees from the Russian defense, from the European defense, from the Israeli defense and from different countries,” he told the newspaper. “The people are coming to get a job and they are good guys; they’re not working on defense anymore.”

“I don’t have any case of an employee doing something like that,” Kaspersky added. “And it’s not possible to inject the code because people are watching.”

Asked whether the allegations stemmed from paranoia or a smear campaign, Kaspersky suggested that market competitors could be to blame.

“I don’t know exactly, but sometimes it smells like some guys are not happy with our success,” he said.


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About the Author(s)

Aldrin Brown

Editor-in-Chief, Penton

Veteran journalist Aldrin Brown comes to Penton Technology from Empire Digital Strategies, a business-to-business consulting firm that he founded that provides e-commerce, content and social media solutions to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to create or grow their digital presence.

Previously, Brown served as the Desert Bureau Chief for City News Service in Southern California and Regional Editor for Patch, AOL's network of local news sites. At Patch, he managed a staff of journalists and more than 30 hyper-local and business news and information websites throughout California. In addition to his work in technology and business, Brown was the city editor for The Sun, a daily newspaper based in San Bernardino, CA; the college sports editor at The Tennessean, Nashville, TN; and an investigative reporter at the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA.


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