US intelligence chiefs wary of Kaspersky Labs’ Russian roots

US intelligence agencies like the NSA, CIA and the Director of National Intelligence are alleging that Kaspersky Labs may have links to Russian defence and intelligence agencies.

Kaspersky Labs have termed the allegations as 'completely unacceptable' and deny they have any links with the Russian government.

This isn't the first time that Kaspersky Labs have been placed under the scanner. Last year, two former employees of the company had alleged that they targeted Microsoft, AVG, Avast and other rivals by tricking anti-virus software into classifying benign files as malicious and fooling them into deleting or disabling important files on customers’ computers.

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Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder, had then termed the accusations as “complete nonsense, pure and simple.”

US intelligence agencies haven't come up with concrete evidence as yet, but feel they have reason to distrust the Russia-based cyber-security giant. “We are very concerned about it and we are focused on it very closely,” said FBI acting director Andrew McCabe to the Guardian.

Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency and Mike Rogers, who heads the NSA voiced similar concerns, adding that their organisations and contractors choose to stay away from Kaspersky software. They do so because they believe Kaspersky Labs recruited several people recently who may have links to Russian defence and intelligence agencies.

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"The company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber-espionage efforts. Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations,” said Kaspersky Labs in a statement.

“I respectfully disagree with their opinion, and I’m very sorry these gentlemen can’t use the best software on the market because of political reasons,” said co-founder Eugene Kaspersky in a post on Reddit.