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Kaspersky AV or Russian backdoor?

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
So I had been meaning to make a thread on this weeks ago when I first heard about it. I saw it first come out on a report telling any Government agency not to use Kaspersky. I thought "Hmmmm that is strange"? Then it hit the news about it maybe containing Russian back doors and malicious tools. While Kaspersky has denied this.

Now I have always know that they were a Russian company, but those Russians know their code so this had never bothered me one bit. But it is like my conspiracy theory involving all antivirus companies, it's a million dollar business. Come out with the virus, only to have the tools to do the cleanup. I mean how else do you explain how fast they come up with the fixes so fast? Anyways, they did make some great removal tools. So I guess it really is hard to say if they can be trusted or not? Maybe it was a ploy since there was so much Russian hate lately? What are your thoughts?

How Russian Firm Might Have Siphoned Tools From the NSA
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Kind of like the Chinese hardware with back-doors I suppose.
Glad you remember my old posts about embedding hardware back doors in chips. You watch one day something will come up about this mark my words.

Back on topic though, I am on the fence with Kaspersky, part of me feels bad for them, and part of me does think that they are very capable of it. I probably wouldn't run their AV now because off this. But I am sure that the North American AV companies might have done the same in the past hoping foreign agencies would install their software in hopes of even being on their intranet to then get out on. Reminds me of that story in Russia at a convention where they were giving out as a promotion free USB drives with the company logo, which just happened to be loaded with a backdoor. They placed it right outside of a American intelligence gathering  convention. Classic.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
Kaspersky Lab, the US government's least favorite computer security outfit, has published its full technical report into claims Russian intelligence used its antivirus tools to steal NSA secrets.
Source
 

Davidc

Caulk Sucker
Members
Who to trust? NSA or Kaspersky?

I vote Kaspersky. Interesting how US based AV can't detect NSA malware.
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
So I was reading the news on what actually happened with Kaspersky. Basically a guy that worked at the NSA took files home and put them on his home computer which was running Kaspersky. Some of the NSA tools were flagged as malicious, go figure, and were uploaded to Kaspersky for cloud analysis (Nortons/McAfee all do the same). So basically they got in trouble for doing their job. But then you have companies like Nortons that allow these tools to run like Magic Latern.

The FBI intends to deploy Magic Lantern in the form of an e-mail attachment. When the attachment is opened, it installs a trojan horse on the suspect's computer, which is activated when the suspect uses PGP encryption, often used to increase the security of sent e-mail messages. When activated, the trojan will log the PGP password, which allows the FBI to decrypt user communications. Symantec and other major antivirus vendors have whitelisted the Magic Lantern trojan, rendering their antivirus products, including Norton AntiVirus, incapable of detecting it.
So then it comes down to who do you really trust like @Davidc said above. And considering how your own government is more likely to be a threat to you than an enemy one, unless you're working for your country's strategic interests (thus potentially targeted by enemy goverments), it's probably safer to use an enemy AV. Who knows, still torn between using Kaspersky or Nortons.
 

ndboarder

Bill Gates' Gimp
Members
I don't get it. I mean they can be upset, but what grounds would there be for any lawsuit. Are they going to sue any corporation that chooses a different AV solution and implements it - because any corporation that implements this will absolutely also block the install of any other AV software by users, so they also are banning Kaspersky...
 

nodle

Cheesemonger
Administrator
I think they were more suing to clear their name from slander. Basically our government came out and said don't use it on government computers, the media ran with it and made it seem like they were in the wrong because they are a Russian company and at the time there was all the Russian hate going on. Funny part is they did their job and detected some nasty tools that our own government was using and our government basically got busted. The funny part is they are one of the most translucent AVs out there. Nortons and others are tighter with their code compared to them.

https://usa.kaspersky.com/transparency-center
 
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