Computer security measures and systems

How did Kaspersky Labs go from top-rung anti-virus software maker, to being labeled as working for Russian Intelligence?

(October 25, 2017)

Kaspersky Labs has long been a well respected very popular anti-virus software vendor. One clear piece of evidence is that Kaspersky's software was sold through Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and other high-ranking outlets. This year the evidence has mounted that Kaspersky may have been collaborating with Russian Intelligence, their software has been yanked from those three stores, the US Government has a blanket ban on using Kaspersky's software, and so forth.

A few days ago I posted a summary of the technical aspects to anti-virus software could be used to steal anything out of any computer running the software.

Russian Intelligence Services may have hijacked Kaspersky Labs to steal hacking tools from the NSA

(October 21, 2017)

Supposedly Kaspersky Labs used its anti-virus software to steal stuff from customers computers, and this included a treasure trove of NSA hacking tools. The Intercept has written a very deep dive into the technical issues, demonstrating that perhaps Russian Intelligence services instead hijacked Kaspersky's software. Regardless, the discussion shows some disturbing things about how anti-virus software works, and demonstrates that anti-virus software companies have the ability to steal anything from any computer running their software. This makes me even more glad I don't run Windows.

A few months ago the USA Government banned the use of Kaspersky anti-virus software, Best Buy yanked it from their stores and from the computers it sells, etc. Reportedly Kaspersky Labs siphoned a bunch of hacking tools from an NSA employee computer. This involved Kaspersky Labs programming their software to search for specific terms, top-secret NSA programs and the like, and then targeting computers belonging to specific people at the NSA, in order to steal the tools. And -- regardless of whether Kaspersky did it, or whether Russian Intelligence hijacked Kaspersky, that sentence should have sent a chill up your spine. Every anti-virus software maker has the ability to search any computer, and upload any file on any computer. That capability is baked into anti-virus software for legitimate reasons, but could be misused.