Kaspersky Lab continues to refute links to Russian intelligence

11 Jul 2017

Image: Reidl/Shutterstock

Kaspersky Lab continues to deny links to Russian intelligence.

Global infosec player Kaspersky Lab has denied any wrongdoing over reports that it has worked with Russian intelligence in the past.

American officials’ suspicion of Kaspersky Lab is nothing new, and is said to be fuelled by the fact that the company’s founder and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, once studied at a programming school run by the KGB, now known as the FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation).

The CEO has vehemently denied any links with the Kremlin.

Bloomberg reported that it saw a series of emails between Kaspersky Lab and the FSB, which indicate that the company worked with the latter on developing security products that the CEO “knew would be embarrassing if made public”.

Political agenda?

It is understood that the emails between Kaspersky Lab and staff back in 2009 point to work conducted for the FSB, including technology to protect against attacks and active countermeasures, hacking the hackers.

Because it is a Russian company, Kaspersky Lab is facing intense scrutiny over claims that Russian hackers tampered with the 2016 US elections in 39 states. As a result, the Trump government is considering plans to block all federal agencies from using products developed by Kaspersky Lab.

For its part, the company has denied any wrongdoing or unethical behaviour and has suggested that the wording of the emails are being taken out of context to serve a political agenda. Eugene Kaspersky hit out at the claims made by Bloomberg in a tweet, referring to the coverage as “banya journalism”.

His comments echo points made last week, where he denied that the company has links to Russian intelligence.

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

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years