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United States Government Privacy Security Politics

Congress Asks US Agencies For Kaspersky Lab Cyber Documents (reuters.com) 28

Reuters reports: A U.S. congressional panel this week asked 22 government agencies to share documents on Moscow-based cyber firm Kaspersky Lab, saying its products could be used to carry out "nefarious activities against the United States," according to letters seen by Reuters. The requests made on Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology are the latest blow to the antivirus company, which has been countering accusations by U.S. officials that it may be vulnerable to Russian government influence. The committee asked the agencies for all documents and communications about Kaspersky Lab products dating back to Jan. 1, 2013, including any internal risk assessments. It also requested lists of any systems that use Kaspersky products and the names of any U.S. government contractors or subcontractors that do so. Kaspersky has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help any government with cyber espionage. It said there is no evidence for the accusations made by U.S. officials. The committee "is concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage, or other nefarious activities against the United States," wrote the panel's Republican chairman, Lamar Smith, in the letters.
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Congress Asks US Agencies For Kaspersky Lab Cyber Documents

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  • by SmaryJerry ( 2759091 ) on Friday July 28, 2017 @09:37PM (#54901879)
    Congress better be careful, cyber documents contain twice as much internet as regular documents.
  • Kapersky can't be involved. That would be way too obvious. This has got to be a distraction. I fear it will be a costly one too...

    • Kapersky can't be involved. That would be way too obvious. This has got to be a distraction. I fear it will be a costly one too...

      Unless there's some equivalent culpability involving a US-based anti-virus concern that's in jeopardy of exposure. I mean, then it could be a preemptive strike.

      I don't have my tin hat on, but it's within reach, on the desk.

    • by skids ( 119237 )

      You are giving them way too much credit. What's happening is simply that the comprehension of the stupidity of nearly the entire user base is finally dawning on them.

      Said stupidity being the installation of an application that by its very nature has unfettered access to everything and constantly communicates with central control servers because you are scared about accidentally installing a program that gains unfettered access to everything and constantly communicates with control servers.

      Said stupidity co

  • Kaspersky has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help any government with cyber espionage.

    Like they would have any choice in the matter.

  • Format command in an autorun.ini would take out half of them.

  • by grep -v '.*' * ( 780312 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @02:03AM (#54902495)
    Maybe I'm naive, but I would suspect Mr Kaspersky tries to run an honest company. That being said, of course he's going to help somewhat if his government asks him to (An Offer You Can't Refuse, or You Only Do Once) -- just like AT&T and any company, I mean person over here.

    NEVER MIND any moles or other unofficial "helpers" that might already exist in any company.

    So they're being accused of all of this. At what point does he say "Screw it, I'm accused and already prosecuted of this, so let's DO it then. What, you're going to fine me or something?"
  • Well, Naturally! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @02:20AM (#54902527)

    "...saying its products could be used to carry out "nefarious activities against the United States,"

    Yes, absolutely!

    It could well be capable of detecting the next US TLA cyber-weapon toolkit left laying about for hackers to copy and use, thereby threatening US national security by exposing the incompetence of the US government to the general public. A clear & present danger.

    Strat

  • Always seemed like bullshit to me.

    I'm just saying, from the day I heard of Kaspersky from a friend and looked them up I thought they were sketchy.

    I even used Kaspersky briefly before I stopped using Windows forever.

    Still.

    It always seemed inconveniently a bit sketchy. Like many others I was a bit lazy and assumed that something as widespread as Kaspersky virus protection software would be tested to death for vulnerabilities.

    Kind of a herd mentality.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      Sketchy because? Most of the AV solutions seem to offer a free version. I haven't heard 1 single fact yet that says Kaspersky is anything other than a straight forwards AV vendor.

      If I were Kaspersky I'd be talking to lawyers about taking the US to arbitration under trade treaty rules because this looks like straight forwards discrimination.

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Saturday July 29, 2017 @07:09AM (#54903065)

    'The committee "is concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage, or other nefarious activities against the United States..."'

    Lunar Smith may not have noticed that Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, HP and many other US corporations are susceptible to manipulation by the US government, and that their products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage, or other nefarious activities against the rest of the world.

    In fact, I am sure that they are. Maybe Lunar Smith doesn't think that matters. But I do.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      'The committee "is concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage, or other nefarious activities against the United States..."'

      This is pretty much true of every software company in every country everywhere, either the committee shuts up or they ban software from half the planet.

  • Barn Door, Meet Horse.

  • Politics... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by beheaderaswp ( 549877 ) * on Saturday July 29, 2017 @07:59AM (#54903219)

    Politics and intrigue have made their way into the internet at levels most of us old timers would not have suspected. Now we're seeing competition between state actors over who will be the most effective surveillance state.

    If privacy is important to you- the internet is not a place to get it. My suspicion is that this will not change. Every product is suspect. Every company is suspect. Assume everyone can see what you do. Make that assumption even if you take steps to attain basic anonymity.

    And if you use onion or garlic routing (Tor/i2p etc.) remember that those networks are targeted by law enforcement and state actors.

    The best policy is to not do anything illegal or involve yourself in espionage while using the internet. No one cares about pictures of your puppies or your World of Warcraft character.

    It's not Kapersky we have to be worried about: The political chess game is being played out with the internet being a full part of the drama. It is best to assume every company is involved- and act accordingly.

  • Is that like logs of netsex?

    The word you want is "records". If they're actually on paper, then that might be news, and you can say "paper documentation"

    HTH, though I know it won't

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann

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