Bloomberg Businessweek has claimed to have obtained internal Kaspersky Lab emails which show close ties between the cybersecurity provider and Russian intelligence. While the U.S. Senate is pushing for a ban of Kaspersky Lab anti-virus services within the U.S. military, more information is coming out.
According to Bloomberg, the emails show that Kasperksy Lab has developed security technology for the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB). In addition, Kaspersky has allegedly worked on joint projects with the spy agency.
Inside the emails, from October 2009, Kaspersky outlines a project undertaken in secret in 2008 “per a big request on the Lubyanka side,” a reference to the FSB offices. According to Bloomberg, Kaspersky Lab has confirmed that the emails are authentic.
The software that Eugene Kaspersky refers to had the purpose of protecting clients, including the Russian government, from DDoS attacks.
Anti-DDoS system and raids
However, it seems that this project’s scope went further, a person familiar with the company’s anti-DDoS system said Bloomberg. According to the business magazine, someone from inside Kasperksy Lab explains how the anti-DDoS system works.
The first part consists of traditional defensive techniques, including rerouting malicious traffic to servers that can absorb it. The second part, however, resembles movie-like scenes: Kaspersky provides FSB with real-time intelligence on the hacker’s location.
After that, the cybersecurity provider sends experts to accompany the FSB agents and Russian police when they conduct raids. That is what Eugene Kaspersky was referring to in the emails, according to Bloomberg’s source.
In the emails, Eugene Kaspersky says the aim of the project for the FSB was to turn the anti-DDoS technology into a mass-market product for businesses. “In the future the project may become one of the items on the list of services that we provide to corporate customers,” he writes.
So far, the U.S. government hasn’t identified any evidence connecting Kaspersky Lab to the FSB. In June, FBI agents visited a number of the company’s employees in the U.S. Following that, a bill was introduced in Congress that would ban the U.S. military from using any Kaspersky products.
Kaspersky Lab vs. Microsoft
Kaspersky is currently locked in a battle with Microsoft. The company says Microsoft prohibits third-party anti-virus software on its Windows 10 platform.
After promising dialogue, Kaspersky Lab went ahead with a previous threat and reported Microsoft to antitrust regulators in the EU.
“We see clearly—and are ready to prove—that Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own—inferior—security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution,” Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky explains. “Such promotion is conducted using questionable methods, and we want to bring these methods to the attention of the anti-competition authorities.”