Kaspersky Lab has come under fire in recent months for an alleged connection to Russian interests, and the company has just launched a new “comprehensive transparency initiative” in the hopes of regaining trust.
Kaspersky, makers of popular antivirus software, announced the new initiative on its own site today. The company will undergo an independent source code review and an independent review of its internal processes. Kaspersky also announced plans for three transparency centers by 2020 — in the U.S., Asia, and Europe — and increased rewards for discovering vulnerabilities in the company’s own products.
These steps make it clear that Kaspersky is trying to rebuild trust — trust which is eroding in both the private and public sectors.
Accusations And Responses
Earlier this month, a report claimed that Kaspersky’s software tipped off Russian hackers to classified U.S. information. Another report this month from The New York Times claimed Russian hackers used Kaspersky’s software as a sort of search tool to find code names for American intelligence programs. In September, the federal government decided to remove Kaspersky software from all of its computers.
Kaspersky has continued to claim no wrongdoing during this time. In response to the Times report, the company released a response, saying that “Kaspersky Lab was not involved in and does not possess any knowledge of the situation in question, and the company reiterates its willingness to work alongside U.S. authorities to address any concerns they may have about its products as well as its systems.” The company called the claims “unsubstantiated.”
Coming Back To Kaspersky?
Despite the apparent efforts of good faith from the company, it may not be that easy to woo back members of the public — and it may be especially difficult to win back hearts and minds in the federal government.
We’ll see if Kaspersky can alleviate concerns and answer questions over time, but for now, it doesn’t seem like this saga is anywhere near its end. We’d urge users to research other antivirus software options, many of which are free.