20 Nov 2017
Do you remember about three months ago when there was talk that Kaspersky Lab may be in cahoots with the Kremlin? It was pretty shocking at the time, and it was a pretty big deal when the Department of Homeland Security decided it was a credible enough threat that they told government agencies they should stop using the popular antivirus software. As it turns out, Kaspersky’s been suspected for a lot longer than a few months.
It turns out that the Defense Intelligence Agency raised concerns back in 2004, according to a memo circulating among members of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The memo, originally sent by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, cites a Pentagon email from November of that year where it’s mentioned that they started doing threat reports on Kaspersky. They also investigated the Russia-based cybersecurity firm in 2012. The Pentagon is said to have stopped using Kaspersky themselves a few years ago, but wasn’t able to provide a specific date.
The government’s fears may be well-founded, despite denial from Kaspersky Labs. A recent report suggests that Russian spies may have used Kaspersky to hack US intelligence.
Kaspersky has around 400 million users worldwide.