Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of the multibillion dollar private software security group, slammed the recent Bloomberg article as “sensationalist” and “false,” asking whether it could be linked to Equation Group revelations by his firm.
The Bloomberg article, with the catchy headline “The Company Securing Your Internet Has Close Ties to Russian Spies” was published on Thursday.
It alleges that Kaspersky Lab, a private software security company owned by Russian national Eugene Kaspersky, ignores Russian electronic espionage cases , while only unveils cybercrimes in the “US , Israel, and the EU.”
On Friday, Kaspersky published a response to these accusations saying they are “false”.
“It’s been a long time since I read an article so inaccurate from the get-go – literally from the title and the article’s subheading. So it came as little surprise that a large part of the rest of the article is simply false. Speculations, assumptions and unfair conclusions based on incorrect facts,” he wrote.
“The journalists don’t mention that we are impartial in our fight against cybercrime, no matter where it strikes. A warning, dear readers: don’t believe everything you read!”
He also hinted that the Bloomberg report may be connected to Kaspersky Labs’ recent research into the hacking collective known as the Equation Group which is apparently linked to the US National Security Agency.
“The fashionable fever of looking for Kremlin-linked conspiracies this week reached some journalists at Bloomberg. Curiously, this happened not long after our investigation into the Equation Group.”
Kaspersky also refuted claims that he used to work for KGB, notorious Soviet security agency.
“After graduating, I worked for the Ministry of Defense as a software engineer for several years. But whatever… as they say, ‘never let the facts get in the way of a good story’. Right?”
On the issue of hiring people with “closer ties to Russia’s military or intelligence services,” Kaspersky said that it was “nonsense,” adding that he only values professional qualities.
He added that his company does cooperate with “law enforcement agencies around the globe (including in the US, the UK, Japan, other European countries; INTERPOL and Europol)” as without such cooperation “our battle would have been significantly less effective than it has been recreational – if not completely futile.”
Concerning the accusation that Kaspersky Lab failed to report the “Russian links to sophisticated spyware known as Sofacy”, he said that the US network security company FireEye already did great research on that and the company saw no point in repeating it.
“BTW, our experts are still working on it, as it’s closely connected to the MiniDuke operation. But please don’t ask why FireEye didn’t announce MiniDuke! You know the answer (hint: who was the first to uncover it?).”
Bloomberg journalists also cited an alleged “ internal” email that only Russians could be appointed to company’s highest positions after Kaspersky Lab scrapped an IPO partnership with Greenwich (Conn.) investment firm General Atlantic in 2012 .
“That is false statement. We’ve launched an internal investigation, carefully examined all our archives for the last three years, and haven’t found such an email,” Kaspersky wrote in his blog.
The company’s CEO also refuted claims that Kaspersky Lab that the Computer Incidents Investigation Unit (CIIU) has remote access to the personal data of its users.
“…I’ve no reason to risk my $700mln business. Everything we do and can do is stated in the End-User License Agreement (EULA). Moreover, we reveal our source code to large customers and governments. If you have any fears about backdoors – come and check.”
Kaspersky Lab is world’s largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. It is registered in the UK and operates in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide. Kaspersky has slammed the Bloomberg report on the company’s alleged ties to Russian ‘spies.’