Dodging Russian Spies, Customers Are Ripping Out Kaspersky

Joseph Cox – The Daily Beast:

But one aspect of Russian-born cybersecurity company Kaspersky’s anti-virus product is threatening the sacred trust of its hundreds of millions of users around the world: the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus can, if they feel like it, grab a copy of customer’s own files by leveraging Kaspersky’s software installed on computers across the world, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

I used Kaspersky’s then-called AVP software in the early 2000s, when the company made its entry into the US market. An anti-malware application was (and is) a must-install software product on computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system, a magnet for malware. After initial doubts about turning security of my systems over to a Russian company’s software I went ahead, because it was well-regarded among anti-malware products. It caused the least disruption, didn’t noticeably slow the operating system, and caused the fewest false-positive alerts. It also had one of the best success rates at finding actual malware.

Turns out my doubts were well-placed.

The company may have been unaware of what was going on with their product, but someone in the company was aware. Software code doesn’t write itself.

Not yet, at least.

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