Home Security Kaspersky may be collateral damage in US-Russia stoush

Kaspersky may be collateral damage in US-Russia stoush

Kaspersky Lab may have been targeted by the US government as part of retaliatory measures taken by the Obama administration after it allegedly discovered that Russia had made plans to influence the 2016 US elections.

A detailed report in the Washington Post outlined what it claimed was the process whereby the US administration became aware of alleged Russian plans.

It said then President Barack Obama was reluctant to make a noise about it as it might look as though he was doing to to try and swing the election to the Democrats.

The Trump administration is reviewing if it should keep using Kaspersky's anti-malware software, with unsubstantiated claims floating around to the effect that Russia is using the software to spy on the US.

The Post report said that there was a move by the Obama team to take covert action to indicate to Russia that the kind of alleged meddling taking place would not go unpunished. Plans were thus devised to hit various sectors of the Russian economy.

"One preliminary suggestion called for targeting technology companies including Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based cyber security firm," the Post said.

"But sceptics worried that the harm could spill into Europe and pointed out that US companies used Kaspersky systems and software."

Eugene Kaspersky, who was recently in Australia, told iTWire at the time that he had no idea why his company was being targeted by the US government.

"I have no insider knowledge, but it seems it's a result of current crisis in relations between Russia and the US," he said in response to queries.

"There could be some grudge because we've unearthed many different advanced attacks and threat actors speaking all sorts of languages including English (and Russian and Chinese and many more, but those with a grudge probably don't care).

"And third, someone may be unhappy with our market success (and) might be using the moment to hit us."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.