Wednesday, 13 June 2018 11:20

Kaspersky Lab sues Dutch paper over hacking claims

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Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab has taken a Dutch newspaper to court over what it says is a false claim about someone having hacked into the company's offices in the Netherlands.

The article, published in De Telegraaf on 3 February, claimed that a bunch of IP addresses had been obtained during the break-in, supposedly to help in tracing the source of a leak in the Dutch parliament. The leak was claimed to have been helping Russia.

In a blog post, Kaspersky Lab chief executive Eugene Kaspersky said that the person who supposedly carried out the hack had denied it. Further digging had located the alleged source of the story, a former Dutch minister Willem Vermeend.

Vermeend and the hacker in question had written a book on cyber security some time back, but the tome was pulled from sale because of plagiarism, Eugene claimed.

"De Telegraaf claims that an anonymous source told their journalists about the hacking of Kaspersky Lab’s Dutch office, and evidence points to Vermeend as the anonymous source, who supposedly whispered the fake narrative to the newspaper. Vermeend, in his turn, has repeatedly denied doing so," the blog post said.

It said that on 25 May, a defamation complaint had been filed, both against De Telegraaf and Vermeend.

Kaspersky Lab has faced problems in the US, with its software being banned from use in the public sector. The Netherlands has also moved to stop the use of its software in government.

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution on cyber security, in which it referred to Kaspersky Lab's software as having been confirmed to be malicious. It did not provide any source for this claim.

In a related development, Kaspersky Lab has filed an appeal against the recent US federal district court's decisions on the company's constitutional challenges to the US ban on use of its products and services.

In a statement, the company said: "Given the importance of these issues to Kaspersky Lab and its customers and partners, Kaspersky Lab has filed an emergency motion for expedited consideration of its case in federal appellate court.

"The motion highlights the errors in the lower court's analysis, the harm Kaspersky Lab is currently suffering from the unfair targeting of its products and services, and the compelling interest in deciding the appeal quickly before the US Government's complete prohibition of Kaspersky Lab's products and services on federal systems takes effect on October 1, 2018."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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