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Government Privacy Security United States Politics

US Government Crackdown Threatens Kaspersky's American Dream (reuters.com) 139

Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of the Russian cybersecurity software firm that bears his name, had a big American dream. From a report: He wanted his company to go beyond selling anti-virus software to consumers and small businesses and become a major vendor to the U.S. government -- one of the world's biggest buyers of cybersecurity tools. Kaspersky set up a U.S. subsidiary, KGSS, in Arlington, Virginia that would be focused on winning that business. He sponsored flashy conferences with high-profile speakers --including Michael Flynn, who was briefly President Donald Trump's national security adviser -- sought to join U.S. trade groups and even underwrote programming on National Public Radio. All of this was done to burnish Kaspersky's image and help it become an accepted vendor for the U.S. government despite its Russian roots, according to people familiar with the strategy. But Eugene Kaspersky was never able to overcome lingering suspicions among U.S. intelligence officials that he and his company were, or could become, pawns of Russia's spy agencies. Kaspersky "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts," the company said. Kaspersky's American ambitions were further eroded by the sharp deterioration in U.S.-Russia relations following Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014, and later when U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

US Government Crackdown Threatens Kaspersky's American Dream

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  • Business climate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Empiric ( 675968 ) on Saturday July 15, 2017 @05:16AM (#54813115)

    But Eugene Kaspersky was never able to overcome lingering suspicions among U.S. intelligence officials that he and his company were, or could become, pawns of Russia's spy agencies.

    By current political standards, if Kaspersky Antivirus detects NSA malware, that's the direct meddling hand of Putin.

    Good luck.

    • Re: Business climate (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As much as I distrust the NSA and loathe the MSM's "Russia narrative," don't see why I should feel bad about foreigners not getting my tax dollars to perform security-sensitive work that should go to US citizens. Keep the jobs and the secrets stateside.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 )
        Exactly. Why, with Trump's nationalist rhetoric. do his supporters somehow have a sweet spot for Russians or Russian companies? I know they helped him win, but that does not mean they can be a trusted ally. These guys have historically been the bad guys, remember Rocky 4? Does the cold war ring any bells?
        • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Saturday July 15, 2017 @06:37AM (#54813217)

          Are you now seriously using a movie as your argument?
          This is how propaganda works.

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Remember when the US empire collapsed, and US gangsters moved in with Russia's blessing and bought up US assets for pennies on the dollar - despite Russian assurances that they wouldn't fuck the US over for coming back into the international fold? Remember when the Russians promised that they wouldn't expand their military bases and missile shields right up US borders, and then installed bases in Canada and Mexico?

            Oh, right. That didn't happen. It was in fact the total opposite of what occurred.

            You think Ru

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by Zemran ( 3101 )
            Propaganda works by citing a Russian invasion of Crimea that never happened and an election hack that never happened either. Lie to people often enough and they eventually believe it. Just as people now believe that Taiwan is a breakaway part of China even though it was part of Japan. They hear the lie for long enough and it seems true.
            • Just out of curiosity, how much do you get paid to spout these lies?

              How many rubles does Uncle Putin hand you? Or do you get paid directly in bread and vodka?
              Doesn't it bother you that your daily work consists of making the world a worse place?

              • Just out of curiosity, how much do you get paid to spout these lies?

                How many rubles does Uncle Putin hand you? Or do you get paid directly in bread and vodka?

                Boris has had a bit of difficulty getting people to pay attention to him lately. The quality of their fake news posts has gone down. Perhaps a vacation in the eastern woods will help their postings to get better?

                • It is not news that the former mayor of London is an attention whore, but don't you think him posting on Slashdot is a little far-fetched?

            • How do you get Taiwan is a part of Japan? If anything, mainland china is a breakaway part of Taiwan (ROC). Read your history about Mao sometime. (I'm not going into ancient history here. If you do that you can come up with Okinawa is really Chinese, and Russia is really part of Ukraine, depending on the viewpoints).
              • Don't worry about it. It was only added so people won't focus on the part where he says "Russia invaded Crimea is a lie".

              • by Zemran ( 3101 )
                It is called history. Taiwan was (note: "was" is past tense which I used and "is" is present tense which you used) part of Japan prior to WWII.
            • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Saturday July 15, 2017 @09:47AM (#54813635)

              Propaganda works by citing a Russian invasion of Crimea that never happened and an election hack that never happened either.

              Thank you Boris. You have served the motherland well. Collect your Rubles on the way out the door.

            • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Saturday July 15, 2017 @10:10AM (#54813695) Homepage Journal

              Propaganda works by citing a Russian invasion of Crimea that never happened

              During 2014, maybe, it was excusable to believe this lie.

              But when, a year later [bbc.com], Russian TV broadcast an entire movie [youtube.com] celebrating the invasion — and Putin's direct involvement [time.com] in it — the excuse vanished. In particular, during the interview, that is part of the film, Putin says:

              I ordered Minister of Defense, why hide, under the guise of reinforcing our military installations in Crimea, to transfer forces of GRU [wikipedia.org] there, marines, and paratroopers. [...] Our advantage was that I was personally involved. Not because I did everything right, but because the country's top people are involved, things are easier for the operators on the ground".

              The cat's been out of the bag since March 2015. Your continuing to lie about it does not help Russia — it just exposes you as an asshole.

              Lie to people often enough and they eventually believe it.

              Yep, this is generally true. But it will not help you here.

              • 'Invasion' is indeed not appropriate because you could just as well call the addition of troops 'reinforcement''. 'Annexation' is a lot more appropriate and hey, Hitler annexed a few territories in 1938/1939 with full approval of the population (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areas_annexed_by_Nazi_Germany) before invading Poland. Always a difficult issue, annexing territory with approval of the population.
                John Mearsheimer explains why despite the aggressive , or at least much more assertive posture of Russi

                • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Saturday July 15, 2017 @02:11PM (#54815059) Homepage Journal

                  Always a difficult issue, annexing territory with approval of the population.

                  Not difficult at all. First of all, how do you even know, there was an actual "approval of the population"? Residents of an occupied territory "voting" in support of the occupying power — is that really that convincing to you?

                  But even if a respectable proportion did sincerely want Russia to come over and "protect them". Imagine Mexico "reinforcing" Southern California [latimes.com] and Arizona... Why? To protect the Spanish speaking people from the imminent threat of "Nazis" — like Donald Trump and Joe Arpaio [wikipedia.org]... And claim "historical ownership" of the lands going back to Santa Anna.

                  Will you really have any difficulty deciding, whether it was an "invasion" and seek a different term? What if they promptly organize a referendum on whether to join Mexico — will you accept its results?

                  we can still talk to them and respect them on the international stage

                  No, we can't. Russia delenda est. The country — since long before Lenin — is a constant threat to liberty and peace world-wide with nothing especially valuable to justify it... There is definitely nothing to "respect" them for — not even their lousy weaponry [realclearworld.com].

              • by Zemran ( 3101 )
                No one has ever doubted that troops were stationed at Svastapol. Do you know of any major US naval bases that do not have troops? That does not make an invasion. There was none. It does not matter how many times you call it an invasion, the people of Crimea declared their independence not incoming troops.
                • by mi ( 197448 )

                  Do you know of any major US naval bases that do not have troops?

                  So, if the American troops stationed in Guantanamo occupied Havana, you would not call it "invasion"? Not even if 10K more troops arrived to Guantanamo for the purpose the week before? What would you call it, and what would the practical difference be?

                  That does not make an invasion

                  Actually, it does. But that was not all, because in addition to those troops, Putin has ordered — as he proudly admits in the cited interview — for thousa

                  • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                    by Zemran ( 3101 )
                    If the American troops stationed in Guantanamo occupied Havana invaded that would be an invasion but if the people of Havana overthrew their government that would not be. There was no invasion, it did not happen. If Cuba was overthrown by anti US rebels that were busy murdering US citizens the US would reinforce Guantanamo. That would not be a shock. There was no fake referendum, calling it such only shows how little you know the area. The people are Russian and work for Russia. If Russia left they wo
                    • by mi ( 197448 )

                      if the people of Havana overthrew their government that would not be [an invasion].

                      How is the Cuban people's hypothetical uprising relevant to whether or not American action is an invasion or not?

                      If Cuba was overthrown by anti US rebels that were busy murdering US citizens the US would reinforce Guantanamo.

                      If that were to happen, the US would've evacuated the endangered citizens. If an invasion were necessary to conduct such an evacuation, they would've invaded. They would not have annexed the country, howe

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Fuck the cold war. Fuck the movies. What I care about is keeping jobs in America. Goverment should only contract to real domestic companies, not shell corps for foreigners.

        • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

          do his supporters somehow have a sweet spot for Russians or Russian companies?

          Why did Americans turn into McCarthyist, bedwetting cowards when the USSR has been gone for over 25 years?

          • Since the Russians started invading and occupying countries again

            • Since when is invading and occupying countries a problem for Americans?

              • It is when someone else does it

                • Also not a problem. When a NATO member invaded another country and basically annexed half of it, what did the Americans do? Three years of arms embargo, that's it.
                  What did they do when another NATO member abducted, tortured and murdered a head of an African country? Happily helped to do it and orchestrated a coup in that African country that resulted in a decade-long oppressive dictatorship.

          • do his supporters somehow have a sweet spot for Russians or Russian companies?

            Why did Americans turn into McCarthyist, bedwetting cowards when the USSR has been gone for over 25 years?

            Who said anything about the old Soviet Union?

            Look Boris, if you are going to earn your rubles, you have to make some sense. Threats come from different sources, not just the old CCCP. It isn't like everyone loved us once your old regime fell.

            Now do better work comrade, unless you want the videos to come out. Remember that vacation on the Black Sea a few years back? We thought so, now get cracking!

          • Why did Americans turn into McCarthyist, bedwetting cowards

            It is not cowardice to fight your enemy, quite the opposite.

            Now, if we ignored Russia's aggressions — such as because they have nukes, or because we don't want to interfere with what they do to their immediate neighbors — now that would've been cowardice. Yes...

      • Not that I am in favour of Kaspersky or suggesting he is best but when it comes to security you should simply be in favour of whatever works first, misguided patriotism should take a distant second.
      • by Zemran ( 3101 )
        Wouldn't it be better if the work went to the best suited? We are all foreigners so the xenophobic crap is just that. If we have to justify this with lies about Russia invading Crimea then I would rather have someone I can trust than someone who the liars trust.
  • The NSA or other authorities should have access under NDA to the Kaspersky source code. This is what happens when software such as MS WIndows is sold to foreign governments for use in sensitive roles.

  • that's what this is all about. It's easier to break and compromise the American AV products, that's why the U.S. is now scrambling to make foreign products seem insecure or to be controlled by Putin. It's sad and hilarious, but luckily you can vote with your wallets - stay away from American AV products.

    • by Anonymous Coward


      > Kaspersky AV too good, NSA/CIA malware can't hide
      > that's what this is all about. It's easier to break and compromise the American AV products, that's why the U.S. is now scrambling to make foreign products seem insecure or to be controlled by Putin. It's sad and hilarious, but luckily you can vote with your wallets - stay away from American AV products.

      I'd rather say, stay away from American products; on a second thought, I do it even better: I avoid products from aggressive countries, on the groun

    • More like, don't be an idiot and you wont need an AV.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Yes AC
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      From help with Equation Group, Stuxnet
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't come crying when governments around the world start to crack down on Google, Facebook and Apple, who had been working closely with the US intelligence.

    What? You said Google and Apple have never helped CIA/NSA/FBI? Of course they will say that, how can one be sure? As for FB, no one would believe anything they say anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You are an idiot to trust the software vendors from a foreign power if you are involved in national security work or billion dollar technology.

      I say this as an American. It also applies to webmail on the low end and hardware/firmware in the high end. You have less choice in the latter, but you are a fool to "trust" any vendor you can't personally execute with impunity. Use, work with, tolerate sure. Trust, never.

      • I'm an idiot to trust software vendors to not serve their government. In my opinion, the government I'm in the greatest personal danger from is the US government, since I live here. and therefore there's a certain attraction to purchasing security software from a Russian company. I wouldn't recommend it for the US Government, though.

    • Don't come crying when governments around the world start to crack down on Google, Facebook and Apple, who had been working closely with the US intelligence.

      Speaking as an American, go for it governments. We all have due diligence as citizens of our various nations to keep a check on the globalist corporations.

      It can form a pretty nice 'checks and balance' situation, if national governments actively scrutinize software vendors located outside their borders.

  • Hu?

    Kaspersky, the company was founded by Natalya Kaspersky and her ex husband Yevgeny Kaspersky.

    No idea how that Eugene Kaspersky comes in, is that the retarded american way how to spell Russian names and it is meant to be Yevgeny == Eugene?

    • Eugene is the Standard English form of the same name, yes. BTW, I've heard him refer to himself as "Eugene" when speaking English.

    • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Saturday July 15, 2017 @08:00AM (#54813357)

      His wife's surname would be Kasperskaya (or Kasperska in the original Polish). Grammatical genders are used for all nouns in most Slavic languages, even for surnames (I think only Yugoslavian languages are an exception, their surnames are always in the masculine form). Some of these languages, like Czech, don't even make an exception for non-Slavic surnames, resulting in (for example) Trump's wife being called "Melania Trumpova" (with an acute accent over the last a).

      • Well,
        his (ex) wife is the woman behind that show.
        He is 'only' the CEO.
        How they krganized their surnames I don't know, e.g. if he took her name, and why both still have the same name.

      • +1 informative, thank you. Though that sounds like Snowflakes over here would have a fit if they knew that!
    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "Yevgeny Kaspersky"

      Is that the retarded angel'o'sphere way of spelling his name using a non-Cyrillic alphabet?

      Seriously, you're trying to be offended.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Yevgeny is the official spellingg of his name in roman letters.
        Eugen is not, and I forgot the retarded way how americans spell Eugen, or perhaps that is just a bad translitteration via the russian way of spelling Eugen?
        Anyway, why can we not just lay back and spell the names like they are spelled in the original language? And more important: pronounce it that way?
        No german would ever impose his german variant on your name. Why do you impose your variation (of pronounciation) on our names?

        • Anyway, why can we not just lay back and spell the names like they are spelled in the original language? And more important: pronounce it that way?

          Is this some of that odd change the subject deflection like what Kellyanne Conway does?

          Anyhow, I hear Trump is looking for a new spokesperson. Imagine the fun you can have when some gaddamned news reporter asks about collusion, and you can go off on a rant about name spelling and pronunciation.

          Dunno if they pay in rubles yet though.

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          "Yevgeny is the official spellingg of his name in roman letters."

          No, it isn't. Who made you boss? Perhaps you should STFU, and let Eugene [kaspersky.com] spell his name the way he wants in the Roman alphabet. Can't get any more "official" than that, you retarded foreigner.
        • The official spelling of his name is the way he chooses to spell it.

          Based on his twitter handle: e_kaspersky and the fact that he himself has verified to twitter as Eugene Kaspersky, the fact that his bio on his own company website spells it Eugene, and his official blog with the title (and I quote) "NOTES, COMMENT AND BUZZ FROM EUGENE KASPERSKY – OFFICIAL BLOG" I would suggest the only person trying to impose anything on anyone is you. Go away and leave his name alone.

  • by tinkerton ( 199273 ) on Saturday July 15, 2017 @07:25AM (#54813303)

    What Scott Ritter claims/shows is that first, an National Intelligence Assessment is a lot more modest than a National Intelligence Estimate, and that what was published as a National Intelligence Assessment does not qualify as such.
    It's a fraud - by selected people from the intelligence community - to push conclusions that the Intelligence Agencies would not be willing to support. Ritter also discusses a lot of other irregularities that all point in the same direction: the conclusion to blame Russia for everything was devised upfront, the rest was a matter of building a case. Just like with Iraq.

    http://www.theamericanconserva... [theamerica...vative.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    All these "personal sanctions" against individuals and corporations are nothing more than a good old bill of attainder - the hallmark of depots and tyrants everywhere. Government is supposed to rule by the enforcement of law, not by smears, allegations and witch hunts.
    • All these "personal sanctions" against individuals and corporations are nothing more than a good old bill of attainder - the hallmark of depots and tyrants everywhere. Government is supposed to rule by the enforcement of law, not by smears, allegations and witch hunts.

      All true. But just try to talk about reducing the size & scope of the US Federal government here, and many of the same posters bemoaning the US government's overreach, power-grabbing, Amendment-violating ways will turn around and defend giving the government more power and tell you to move to Somalia if you want "anarchy", as if reducing the power and size of one of the largest and most powerful & invasive bureaucracies on the planet is the same as total anarchy.

      A government large & powerful eno

      • It's good to find somebody on here who likely agrees that the government should be weak enough that we can drown it in the bathtub. [wikiquote.org]

        Without us needing to drown it, of course. We're all adults, and when a bunch of adults are in a room and there's a baby present, it's not the normal thing for one or more of them to drown said baby. In fact, all the rest of the adults would put a stop to it.

        That's how the phrase is meant.

  • "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts,"

    Well, there's their problem. The government wanted its global cyberespionage black, no sugar and without pernickety minions.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <eviNO@SPAMevcircuits.com> on Saturday July 15, 2017 @07:49AM (#54813333) Homepage

    "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts,"
    And this is why they won't win any contracts. Symantec refuses to share their source code with other governments and is at the same time one of the biggest US government contractors despite their products consistently scoring lowest detection rates.

  • Stop using Windows for handling anything remotely sensitive. I fail to understand why this is considered an extreme measure when the reality is that it's simply prudent.

    • Agreed. Doesn't happen a lot when I read your posts. But you will have someone chime in with "Linux is insecure too! (cite exploit that was fixed within days of discovery)" Linux/Unix may not be 100% secure, but its a hell of a lot more secure than anything Microsoft makes..

      • I believe the key is to not write as if Linux is a perfect solution but rather merely a better solution and then to defend it in such a manner without involving ego.

        Then again, maybe trolls just don't like me enough to even bother. :'(

        :P

      • It's a widely propagated myth by Linux evangelists, but in fact, all stats show that Linux kernel is far more vulnerable and unsecure [cvedetails.com] as compared to Windows [cvedetails.com], including various Windows components/services (but excluding software like Internet Exploder). If you include software (such as IE) which is hardly used, then sure, Windows might come to more vulnerabilities.

        And what's more, Microsoft patch vulnerabilities far faster (within a couple of month), compared to Linux [slashdot.org], which may take up to 2 years before rel [zdnet.com]

        • And what's more, Microsoft patch vulnerabilities far faster (within a couple of month), compared to Linux [slashdot.org], which may take up to 2 years before releasing a patch [zdnet.com].

          Actually, you have your facts misconstrued. Most of those Linux CVE's were patched at the same time they found them and they roll out updates immediately, which is never more than a day or two from having the distro maintainer roll them out also, leaving you free to update and fix the issue. Where as Microsoft can find out about an exploit and wait months to roll out an update. Now the "which may take up to 2 years to fix" well, fact is that may have been in the code for 2 years it wasn't known about for 2

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Neo-liberal war-loving Clinton voters are seething in utter disbelief as Russia destroy's America's wahhabi 'ISIS' forces in Syria. Remember how the filthy zionist mainstream media, lead by Reuters and the BBC, claimed Russia wasn't fighting 'ISIS'? Of course, the average Clinton voting dribbler won't know that a few weeks back, in an amazing precision strike on two buildings, Russia killed all the significant leaders of ISIS and their UK/USA/Saudi/Israeli handlers. And to the neo-liberals disgust, Trump is

    • The war in Syria has never been about the human rights of Syrians. As is usually the case, it's about a gas pipeline [middleeasteye.net] that western energy companies want built across Syria, but that won't be built until a 'regime change' in the Syrian government can be accomplished.

    • Spasibo, tovarishch. (Do you get paid in rubles, euros, dollars, or Bitcoin, BTW?)

  • To government agents, it doesn't matter that Kaspersky isn't aiding the Russian government. His company needs to be in the pocket of the US government or they will destroy it. Entities in cybersecurity that are independent of government control and manipulation are defacto considered bad. Just as bad as entities working for Russia.

  • Call me contrary but what has really convinced me of a large-scale Russian state plot to influence the US election are the huge numbers of posts here (and on other social media) denying it, often with obfuscation, half-truths and straight lies.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

          Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Not Getting Caught

  • Kaspersky finished the High School of KGB, which is now called the Institute of Cryptography, Communications and Computer Science (IKSI). Sure he doesn't collaborate with any government.

    It is safe to assume that every, and I mean EVERY computer security company and every large computer equipment manufacturer (DELL, Samsung, Intel, LG to name a few from Snowden's list) collaborates with their government. And Russians are definitely not worse than NSA. And surely less intrusive.

  • This is fake news. Someone had a dream to do something and it didn't work. That's business. Nothing is a sure thing. Next year maybe he'll get the contract and some other company will lose it.

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