Kaspersky Story Grows Intense, Comes Full Circle with Israeli Government Involvement
The Kaspersky saga has been a matter of great concern for the US government and the common American citizen. Suspected of being tools for Russian espionage, the anti-virus was officially removed and banned from all US government systems. Following the rising rumors and speculations, Americans began to find for Kaspersky alternative and ditched the powerful and perhaps one of the most trusted anti-viruses of all time. Kaspersky was in continuous denial of having any involvement with Russian spies and upheld its integrity as a cybersecurity service provider. Up until then, it was only a battle between the US government and the security firm. The latest development, however, shows a new involvement that of the Israeli government. Here’s what we know.
Back in 2015, while the Israeli government hackers were spying on Russia and Russian on US (these three need to take a break!), they found suspicious hacking tools on the network of Kaspersky Lab. The tools seem to have been purely the makings of US’s National Security Agency, therefore, Israel notified the NSA, which in return went full-fledged with an internal investigation which revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government.
In a statement regarding Israel’s findings, Kaspersky staunchly denies its involvement saying, ‘s a private company, Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government, including Russia, and the only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight and that it does not possess any knowledge of Israel’s hacks.’ Eugene Kaspersky has been endlessly defending his organization from any involvement with espionage and specifically mentions the fact that Kaspersky’s malware is designed to detect and clean malware infections. This means that even if NSA’s hacking tools were available on the network, the software would have been able to easily detect and clean it up.
That being said, industry experts are aware of Kaspersky’s double-edged anti-virus system. While its techniques can detect malware, it can also be reused to identify and collect personal data and information that is not related to malware. Strings of digital codes operate in stealth to find malware but once modified can also be used to search computers for classified documents and information. The technique is known as, ‘silent signatures,’ is actually a pretty common cybersecurity industry practice employed to detect and verify malware and Trojans. With this code, vendors are able to collect user information and offer systems with up-to-date protection automatically. Unfortunately for Kaspersky, it’s data is routed through the Russian Internet service providers which are of course subjected to Russian surveillance. This essentially means that all customer data flowing through Kaspersky’s Russian servers is encrypted and because the firm does not decrypt it for the government, there are high chances the government can read (or does read) into data coming in and out from US intelligence systems.
As of now, the case is still quite intriguing. None of the parties have any clear evidence of the matter but all do agree on one conclusively statement and that is Eugene Kaspersky cannot work independently of Vladimir Putin. Surveillance is impossible to avoid.