back to article US Senators want Kaspersky shut out of military contracts

Russia has hinted at retaliation if the US adopts a Senate committee recommendation to ban Kaspersky from American military contracts. The Senate Armed Services Committee, in its 2017-2018 budget recommendations (PDF) under the National Defense Authorisation Act, recommended the ban as part of its proposals for “countering …

Page:

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Que: Russian gov embargoing Symantec, McAffee and a couple of smaller players feeding of the Washington DC extravaganza.

    This can and will hurt american companies much more than it hurts Russia.

    As far as 0.5Bn to Ukraine, 0.45 of it will be stolen so no big deal.

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Que:

      Unless you are asking a question in French, I think you mean Cue.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Error ball, corner pocket.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        "Unless you are asking a question in French, I think you mean Cue."

        ¿Qué?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          ¿Qué?

          So, how is Barcelona nowadays?

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            "So, how is Barcelona nowadays?"

            I know naaaaaaaaaafing

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        "Unless you are asking a question in French, I think you mean Cue."

        or 'queue', which is what I was thinking

    2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      SAid the Kettle to the Pot

      And now you see it confirmed: you cannot trust US software companies, as the US will steal your company secrets. The fact that they take this decission without any kind of proof whatsoever should make people think about US security agencies activity and the gag orders behind those activities.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      As far as 0.5Bn to Ukraine, 0.45 of it will be stolen so no big deal.

      That's not even 0.4 DUPes.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      " Russian gov embargoing Symantec, McAffee and a couple of smaller players feeding of the Washington DC extravaganza."

      They should embargo Micro-shaft and Google, instead. it would be more relevant.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Who cares?

    It's all just snake oil anyway.

    Hint: If you allow the nasties onto your computer in order to scan them ... then you have allowed nasties onto your computer. That's a trifle simplistic, but think about it.

  3. Alister Silver badge

    Oh FFS!

    Bring back Joe McCarthy, all is forgiven!

  4. Ole Juul Silver badge
    Joke

    retaliatory measures?

    Like blocking imports of US operating systems? Oh wait ...

    1. Gordon Pryra

      Re: retaliatory measures?

      "Like blocking imports of US operating systems?"

      Reckon FAST has a strong presence in Russia?

      Putin would laugh at the Western lady boys looking asking Rus.Co to pay for Windows

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: retaliatory measures?

        And Russia has so many Operating Systems to replace them, right?

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: retaliatory measures?

          Linux distros in Russia: ROSA, Calculate, ALT Linux, Runtu, and Point Linux according to Distrowatch.com.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: retaliatory measures?

            @a_yank_lurker

            The friendly countries to Mother Russia probably have a few Linux flavors to add to the borscht as well... What better time to ingratiate yourself with Vlad...

            1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              Re: retaliatory measures?

              @chivo243 - Given the nature of Linux distros, the Motherland could probably pick almost any. But many forget that almost all industrialized countries have a few flavors of locally produced Linux distros.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    But what would Trump do if the military was nasty to his Russkie buddies? Fire the generals?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Military is presently out of control

      The incident with the F16s harassing Russian defense minister jet over Baltic international waters last week has shown that US military is doing whatever the f*** it wants and neither the State department, nor the White House have a say.

      What they did there was not "being nasty to Russkie Buddies". It was f*** asking for WW3.

      Doing what they did would have been a case of "sack the idiot who approved it" under presidents no-one would have called Russophilic like Reagan or Obama. With the current baboon in chief it did not just go unpunished, there was an attempt to hide it under the carpet by putting out a press-communique with half-truths in it and attaching it to the Syria shootout case to "bury bad news".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: F16s

        Let's all debate whether one might trust this version of events:

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russian-plane-buzzed-nato-baltic-sea-sergei-shoigu-defence-minister-a7802376.html

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          Re: Re: F16s

          www.independent.co.uk - how many fucking different domains are running scripts on that site? Looks like close to 30 according to noscript. When I see a site like that I don't even bother trying to get it to work, and just close it immediately. "Newspaper" websites seem to be particularly guilty.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Military is presently out of control

        "The incident with the F16s harassing Russian defense minister jet over Baltic international waters last week has shown that US military is doing whatever the f*** it wants"

        Nice one, Anonymous Comrad. That's the RT version, right? How did RT and other state news report the 2 meter flyby of an SU-27 over a Swedish military plane?

        It is customary for Baltic Sea nations to do recon missions on other nations' military aircraft to photograph and identify them. That is not harassment and the F16 incident shows the aircraft at least 50m away from the jet.

        Russian military aircrafts routinely tresspasses Baltic/Swedish/Finnish airspace with their transponders turned off. No explanations or apologies are ever given because Russia does whatever it wants to. Just like the US.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Military is presently out of control

        So what's your point? The US and Russian air forces have been doing this to each other for a long time. It's also done by just about every country out there. It's not just one-sided as you seem to be saying. Next time, use the Troll icon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Military is presently out of control

          "Russian military aircrafts routinely tresspasses Baltic/Swedish/Finnish airspace with their transponders turned off. " "It's not just one-sided as you seem to be saying."

          Difference being, in the case of the Baltic nations the NATO forces are there with the legal consent of the countries in question.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    letting Russia's government plant backdoors in his products would be “suicide”.

    That refers, I assume, to the adding of backdoors being "commercial suicide".

    In contrast, if the wrong sort of government makes "an offer you can't refuse"; refusing it anyway might be seen as the other form of suicide.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: letting Russia's government plant backdoors in his products would be “suicide”.

      Remember that the Kremlin has a plentiful supply of Polonium. Or they could just spirit him away to the Kola Peninular (in Winter)

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Let them eat Symantec

    The poor unfortunate users will be begging to have the backdoored communist spyware back. If their computers run fast enough to let them compose an email of complaint.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: If their computers run fast enough to let them

      Tha last time I saw Kaspersky Antivirus in action was more than 10 years ago, and it rendered computer slow, exactly like you described. Think it's the same nowadays, so I see no sense in exchanging one AV for another or vice versa.

      1. staggers

        Re: If their computers run fast enough to let them

        @ramazan

        Last time you saw it running was 10 years ago?

        So what possible basis do you have to comment?

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: If their computers run fast enough to let them

        I use Kaspersky. Runs very efficiently so far as I can tell.

        Also, if there were government mandated backdoors in software I use (I do not believe Kaspersky contains any for the record), I would prefer them to be Russian than Western. After all, if I do something illegal or subversive, do you think Russian police are going to turn up on my doorstep? They wouldn't give a flying fuck. UK police or surveillance though - that's what I logically would have to worry about.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russia 'won't rule out' retaliation

    will shut out Kaspersky of Russian contracts as well!

    ...

    yeah, I know, cheap trick, childish and patronising to imply Russians would be so stupid, bad, bad, bad! But then, consider real-life Russian response to sanctions, when they blocked food imports that hurt them more then the exporters...

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Russia 'won't rule out' retaliation

      Errr, no, it was catastrophic to some exporters, including spanish ones that went out of business, but asmost big companies associated with the us were ok, then, no problem.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russia 'won't rule out' retaliation

      No Pain, No Gain - Russia Gained in the sense that

      1) Now they don't need the importers,

      2) They learned the important lesson that one cannot substitute physical storage and actual capacity with contracts

      3 They learned that the Danes had to pump even more money into the failing agro-business to keep the banks afloat. If one want something like "Nordstream 2" to be only opposed at the virtue signalling level ... in return for not messing with banks and stuff.

      4 They learned that one cannot trust the USA on anything. Even enough to say so openly. Hence China is the new people to talk to.

      1. ChrisPv

        Re: Russia 'won't rule out' retaliation

        If the Czech press is correct their gain was more than that. Russian food sector is apparently booming as result of the food contra-sanctions.

  9. Fortycoats

    What about Veeam?

    Will they be banning Veeam Backup software, too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Veeam?

      They'd probably ban just about anything that does not have a Microsoft or Oracle logo in it. Apple is apparently 'too gay' for the military.

  10. Sandtitz Silver badge

    There is a hypothetical risk

    Technically if the US-Russia situation escalated further, Russia could very well weaponise Kaspersky software no matter what Eugene himself thinks or whether he would protest it.

    Since AV always run at very high privileges they could just push out an AV or program update that changes system behaviour. The updates could be directed via geolocation or if the update requests contain eg. the Kaspersky contract ID or other identifying material. This would of course leave a smoking gun.

    Similarly any American AV software could be used for attacks if need be. The US government has their FISA and other avenues to subvert companies under their will.

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: There is a hypothetical risk

      Similarly any American AV software could be used for attacks if need be.

      Could? Is! The very minimum "They" would do with AV-software is to track the location and movements of all files in the known universe!

      As part of the optimisation / functioning of the anti-virus, it will do tricks like calculate hash-values for all files that it can find and build up a database of files, with hash-values that it does not need to check in-depth because they have not changed or are known globally to be "good". Same with files it should always check in-depth. Since every file now has Globally-Unique ID and the antivirus of course knows the GUID of the computer it is running on, by accessing the anti-virus "mothership" "They" can track all files, globally, see which files move, where they move, where they change and so on.

      "They" can build graphs over all groups of people interacting digitally as long as everyone have anti-virus software installed.

  11. streaky Silver badge

    Vulnerable..

    Their argument is that Eugene's company is vulnerable to Russian government influence

    Well they are..

    Same way as Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, Apple, Amazon, (do I really need to complete this list) are vulnerable to US government not only influence but active measures to infiltrate, backdoor and compromise. As long as we have secret courts and secret orders this is going to be an issue - but even if they didn't exist tradecraft renders these systems vulnerable. There's zero transparency in the industry is half the problem, everything is closely guarded secret. No obvious solutions here.

    I don't think there's a good solution to this. Even open source can't truly save you from this stuff. If we all hide in our corners we're going to have a serious problem. Until the US government finds evidence of wrongdoing they should keep it to themselves.

    I personally consider Romania as neutral ground as you can get and use Bitdefender - though I'm completely aware that they're open to Russian and US asset infiltration and therefore also won't help defend from either the US or Russian states. I consider it safest middle ground though.

    I don't think anybody can go around, especially in government and military ops, pretending this isn't a possibility.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Vulnerable..

      "I personally consider Romania as neutral ground as you can get and use Bitdefender"

      On those terms I'd rather choose Finland and use F-Secure even though their figurehead could use a haircut.

      1. streaky Silver badge

        Re: Vulnerable..

        Another reasonable option. Personally I like to look at as reliable as I can find testing data too but I'm old so..

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Once upon a time...

    I'm old enough to remember when the military never, ever, used equipment, etc. from another country where mission critical security was needed. Paranoia? At the time, yes, but it was just a step to ensure that things that needed to be secure were kept secure and that if someone decided to cut off the supply (the other country's leaders) then the military wouldn't be compromised.

    The software might be secure but there's no guarantee that it will stay that way. I'll get my tin foil hat and have a lie down in a few.

  13. Kev99 Bronze badge

    The US wan't this paranoid during the War. Sheesh! Welcome to conservative politics.

    1. Afernie
      Holmes

      "The US wan't this paranoid during the War. Sheesh! Welcome to conservative politics."

      Probably because Russia wasn't interfering in America's electoral process back then, and America was way more comfortable when it was mainly them doing precisely that to other countries.

  14. FordPrefect

    Given the low level system access that AV and other security tools need to do their job on an endpoint I'd be surprised if the US military used software from outside the US.

  15. herman Silver badge

    NSL

    So I assume that the Kaspersky crew were served with National Security Letters and now cannot talk about whatever transpired. So by next week, their software will likely have a US backdoor in it.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: NSL

      "and now cannot talk about whatever transpired"

      Just see how many have carried empty canary cages out to the trash this week.

  16. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Linux

    Or ...

    ... US Senators could push the military to switch to platforms less susceptible to virus attacks in the first place.

    1. Afernie

      Re: Or ...

      "... US Senators could push the military to switch to platforms less susceptible to virus attacks in the first place."

      At which point much of the effort currently expended by the scummier denizens of the net on Windows will switch to making Linux their primary target.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019