Kaspersky Lab ‘never goes to the dark side’, denies Russia rumours

3 Jul 2017

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky. Image: catwalker/Shutterstock

The CEO of Kaspersky Lab has defended his cybersecurity company’s intentions, claiming it has no ties to Russian intelligence.

“We stay on the bright side, and never, never go to the dark side.”

Eugene Kaspersky’s defence of his giant cybersecurity company has come at a peculiar time amid post-Cold War espionage accusations.

While US officials seek greater access to all digital operations on their own soil and beyond, a growing number of people have pointed the finger at Kaspersky Lab and its alleged links to Russian intelligence.

A series of US intelligence officials recently revealed they would not be comfortable with Kaspersky Lab software on their computers. In fact, US senators are considering a ban of the software on any military systems, while Kaspersky Lab staff in the country have been questioned by the FBI.

This has prompted Eugene Kaspersky to defend his company, one of the most successful in the industry.

Speaking to AP, he said Kaspersky Lab’s source code is open for US review, in a bid to appease a market that is important to its business model.

“If the US needs, we can disclose the source code,” he said, claiming he would testify to US lawmakers if needed, too. “Anything I can do to prove that we don’t behave maliciously, I will do it.”

Kaspersky Lab was one of the prominent cybersecurity companies looking into the recent WannaCry attacks across the globe, with its role in fighting ransomware another area of expertise.

The latter is part of a partnership with Europol, among others, which formed No More Ransom, a site that connects victims to police and gives advice as well as helping with data recovery.

Eugene Kaspersky maintains this is what his company does: defend. Any discussions of cyberattacks from the firm are off the table, even though his company’s position within Russia does look odd to outsiders.

“I do understand why we look strange, because for Russia, it’s very unusual – a Russian IT that’s very successful everywhere around the world. But it’s true,” he said.

He said he and his company have been approached to switch to a more attacking service in the past, but he has turned down “some unnamed governments”, according to AP.

“I stopped that immediately. I don’t even want to talk about it,” he said.

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky. Image: catwalker/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic