back to article Kaspersky shrugs off government sales ban proposal

Kaspersky Lab has laughed off attempts to have its wares banned from US government computers by saying it hardly sold to the Feds anyway. “Given that U.S. government sales have not been a significant part of the company’s activity in North America, Kaspersky Lab is exploring opportunities to better optimize the Washington D.C …

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Devil

Strangely, it's not the governments of Russia or the PRC that are on my threat list. I wonder why that might be?

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In terms of liberty and freedom of speech, it appears that western governments are a more imminent threat to me than any of the current Eastern bogeymen.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder why that might be?

Any deal with USA (or most western governments following in the USA wake) always falls into this category: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsW9MlYu31g

You can say a lot of things about Putin, but not this one. It is not that he does not want to. It is not that he can't. It is simply the fact that doing so will damage his public persona in his own country beyond anything a westerner can contemplate. Being a man of your word for a Russian is one of the greatest values. He has leveraged it and he has based his public persona around this being a quintessentially Russian trait. They drill this into kid's heads now from kindergarten as a part of their propaganda the same way way USAisians drill into their kids the idea that USA is the god chosen country. The latter one, by the way is something that implies that USA is entitled to turn on a deal any time (which it does).

So for him (and most Russian politicos), the cost of going Darth Vader is significantly higher than for your average USA politician. As a result, he avoids it until you have broken the deal on your side.

Now, breaking the deal on your side and thus giving him the reason to break it too - that is a different story. The Russians use that with gusto. Georgia and Ukraine learned that one the hard way.

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Not only are Western governments more likely to spy on Western citizens, but they are more likely to act on it. If you anonymously reveal some information the UK government wants its citizens not to know about, if you buy some or sell something forbidden, if you read something you're not supposed to read... It's not the Russian police you have to worry about showing up at your house.

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Joke

Re: I wonder why that might be?

What you say is quite true! It's a different set of cultural values. There's a joke about Russians that only really works if you know Russians / follow Russian politics, but I'll tell it anyway:

A German, an American and a Russian are all exploring the jungles of South America when they're captured by a long forgotten tribe who decide to execute them. But the chief says: "I am not a cruel man. I will grant each of you a last request." So the German thinks about it and says: "I would like to have sex with several women before I die." So the chief claps his hands and several beautiful, scantily dressed tribeswomen step forward and lead the German away to their hut. In the morning, the exhausted but happy German is led before the chief and executed. Meanwhile the American has asked for a last meal. So the chief claps his hands and all sorts of foods are brought before the American - roast jungle piglets and fruits and nuts and everything the tribe has. The American eats a stunning amount of food before finally getting up and waddling before the chief able to die happily having stuffed himself silly. At last, it is the Russian's turn and the chief asks what he would like, to which the Russian replies: "I would like you to punch me in the face." The chief is bemused but punches the Russian in the face. Immediately the Russian reaches into his bag and pulls out an AK-47 and begins shooting everybody. As the tribespeople flee and the chief lies bleeding on the ground, he looks up at the Russian and asks: "But if you had that all along, why didn't you pull it out earlier and save the German and the American?" To which the man replies: "Because Russians are not aggressors."

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Re: I wonder why that might be?

What was that old joke back in the Soviet era? "You can do anything you want in the USSR except vote." Looking at what voting gets us these days, I think I know which philosophy I'd prefer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder why that might be?

"Because Russians are not aggressors."

The perennial "Врежь мне в морду" gag. I heard it the first time in Moscow as a kid when I lived there for a few years in the 70-es.

It is still valid to this day. What you have to keep in mind when giggling about it is another facet of Slavic character. There is no such thing as "proportionate response". That is an Anglo-Saxon abstraction which does not compute in Slavic psychology. The response is always "as much as necessary so you do not ever f*** with us ever again". It is the same across all Slavic nations, the sole difference is what it takes to trigger it. That varies from "immediate" in Poland and Serbia, through "you have to seriously piss us off" in Russia and going to "you have to exceed all possible limits and then some" in Bulgaria. Then you understand the real meaning of the "Farewell of the Slavic Woman" and why the old Bulgarian national anthem started with "Maritsa river will be a roaring torrent to the brim with blood(*)"·

Going back to the surveillance. For similar psychology reasons, the "act on it" triggers are quite different from the ones in the West.

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Re: I wonder why that might be?

"Because Russians are not aggressors."

Neat story, but if you've already been condemned to death, the thing about the other guy being the aggressor has already been satisfied.

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Paris Hilton

Re: I wonder why that might be?

>>Neat story, but if you've already been condemned to death, the thing about the other guy being the aggressor has already been satisfied

Uhhh, it's not a story, it's a joke. And a joke that goes: "This chief said he was going to execute everyone so a Russian guy shot him" wouldn't be a very good one.

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Russia is far more likely to incite a revolt, change the shape of elections, steal former provinces it claims as its own, and sow discord abroad - as it has been doing for years now - and then use a bogeyman such as the U.S. to try to deflect attention from its kleptocratic oligarchy. They then claim "what about..." when called on their actions. All psyops, and very sophisticated ones.

The government's run by a former KGB agent. Kaspersky trained at a KGB school. I can't tell if a lot of the people posting here and upvoting and praising Russia while "whatabouting" the U.S. and U.K. are actually Russian trolls, but I find it highly suspicious.

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Anonymous Coward

Russia is far more likely to incite a revolt, change the shape of elections,

Trust me - USA does it and does it more often. It did it 60+ times in Latin America in the 20th century alone. That beats Russia and USSR by an order of magnitude.

It has to. Because it does not have the f**** patience to keep whatever it installed in power by doing so for more than a few years so it has to do it again, again and again.

I am speaking out of personal experience here - I had a few months involvement in politics at national level running the security and the press office during student protests in an Eastern European country in the 90-es. So I had some dealing with our "sponsors" and "guarantors" first hand. The modus operandi in all of Eastern Europe during 1989-2000 was:

Step A: USA finances and incite a revolt.

Step B: USA forget the country and do fuck all for up to 4 years

Step C: The people get fed up by the "democrats" stealing in broad daylight and the wife of the financial minister openly taking bribes in his name running a "foundation".

Step D: Communist descendants (usually called socialists) get elected.

Step E: Go to Step A.

It happened 3 times in my country with USA involved heavily in all 3 cases. It became hilarious - when we initiated student strike/revolt No 3 there was a vote to make all leaders write a signed declaration that they will not accept scholarships in USA universities as a payment for their services. Suddenly half of the people who were organizing the revolt "lost interest".

When I talk to my colleagues from other countries it understand that it happened there too by the way. That is just in Europe and what I have seen first hand.

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I'm not talking about the U.S., I'm talking about Russia, and Kaspersky, which is the point of this article. Please save the "whataboutism" for someone who will fall for that.

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Yes, compare governments with freedom of speech enshrined in law and enforced in the judicial system with... what? Russia's kleptocracy? How many people has Putin disappeared?

Kaspersky is an imminent threat. He was trained at a KGB school. Antivirus has total control over your computer. Kaspersky just came out with a product for running critical power infrastructure that can be wiped out with a single update from central command (or the FSB). It's not too much to ask to have government facilities controlled by homegrown products, at the very least not a product in control of the Russian government, who has been interfering with democracies all over the world through its psyops attacks the past six years.

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Re: I wonder why that might be?

It's a lovely bit a propaganda.

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>>I'm not talking about the U.S., I'm talking about Russia, and Kaspersky, which is the point of this article. Please save the "whataboutism" for someone who will fall for that.

Well firstly, this is a fairly casual place. If you go all anti-Russian zealot in your posts scattering the thread with one-line comments like "hope you got well-paid for that, Natasha", then you have to expect that somebody is going to point out the obvious fact that the USA meddles in foreign countries more than everyone else put together. ;)

And secondly, it's not entirely "whataboutism". Given the state of security of Windows, it's at least a little bold to fly without any AV at all. So you have to pick one. And if you're going to criticise Kaspersky for spying on its users (no evidence whatsoever of this, btw), then it's not whataboutism to observe likely risks in its competitors. I mean we know that the USA engages in surveillance on a staggering scale and that US companies are legally obliged to assist with this and subject to criminal prosecution if they reveal such assistance. So how is it "whataboutism" to compare with the USA if the attack on Kaspersky is because it is Russian?

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Trollface

>>Kaspersky just came out with a product for running critical power infrastructure that can be wiped out with a single update from central command (or the FSB).

Well Kaspersky Labs were the people primarily responsible for finding and examining Stuxnet - a piece of malware designed for infiltrating and subverting hardware such as used in power infrastructure. So they have strong qualifications in this area. Alternately, I could go with a supplier actually based in one of the countries that created Stuxnet. ;)

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Anonymous Coward

If you anonymously reveal some information the UK government wants its citizens not to know about, if you buy some or sell something forbidden, if you read something you're not supposed to read...

Concur. I happen to have an ex-colleague which alternates working as a cop and a high level network Enginer/architect (currently in product development in tier 1 vendor). I happen to have another ex-colleague (same company nowdays as the first one) which is a Texan and a total gun nut.

I was talking to the latter at a conference last year. He was this short of having a boner explaining how he and a number of other Texan gun-nuts McGuivered successfully the key part of AR15 in a workshop (it is the step you need to build one which is unregistered in the federal databases). I told him that he is off his rails and he is being too American and suffering from "Not Invented Here" disease as they usually do. If he wants to produce an automatic weapon he should look at Blyskawica - something designed (out of Sten blueprints) for this exact purpose - DIY mass production.

So our UK colleague (the one that from time to time is a cop) joins in: "I trust you have not done the searches for this from your own machine in the UK - we have to visit people regularly who do". He was not joking either.

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Anonymous Coward

In Soviet Russia Anti-Virus infects you.

Someone had to...

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Joke

In Capitalist Amerika, Bank robs you!

:p

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In the UK , the government loves you and is doing 'it' for your own good.

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Pirate

"In Capitalist Amerika, Bank robs you!"

not any more... they got caught.

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>>not any more... they got caught.

Oh, you, think, so?

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Anonymous Coward

In register forums downvoters downvote you.

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I thought that was think of the children?

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Ha, ha, Comrade!

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Devil

this Russia blaming

I wonder where it's coming from... blaming Russia for so many things, assuming all Russian businesses are in bed with Putin's gummint, yotta yotta yotta.

It might be a case of "the lady doth protest too much, methinks"

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Devil

Re: this Russia blaming

DISTRACTION! Pure and simple. The current US Gummint is under fire for all kinds of BS and this is an example of "Ignore that scandal, look over there! Evil Reds! Russian Apocalypse! Look there, while we all run for cover!"

I just stuck my neck out to defend Kaspersky at my company, and I'll be paying for the mobile app later today. The ONE honest tech company I l know of deserves my support.

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Re: this Russia blaming

Or it could be that Russia is perpetually looking for a villain so it can play the victim and distract its people from the ongoing theft at every level of government which is led by a former KGB agent. It's got a world class disinformation structure now and it's infecting every bit of the internet. Look at how many pro-Russia posts have suddenly appeared on this thread and been subsequently extreme-upvoted.

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Re: this Russia blaming

I hope your government pays you well for your service, Natasha!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this Russia blaming

Or it could be that Russia is perpetually looking for a villain so it can play the victim and distract its people from the ongoing theft at every level of government which is led by a former KGB agent.

As far as I can tell, it is the US which has a perpetual search for a villain. The commie wars, the war on drugs, the war on terror - they are continuously in search of a new enemy so they don't have to look at the ACTUAL state of the nation itself, and wars are handy vehicles to turn tax revenue into bank account fillers without too many questions asked. The general trend is that it's always foreigners who get the blame for the mess they're in. That's also why they don't like climate change, it's too clear they cannot blame anyone else.

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While I'm sure it's annoying for Kaspersky to be branded like this, I'm sure they're not that worried. The longer the US Gov makes a fuss the more big K is in the media and as we all know, no such thing as bad publicity.

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Black Helicopters

Treat it as a reccomendation

If the US Government, spooks and big business does like Kaspersky and wants us not to use it, this is a very good reason to get it and use it.

Kaspersky is not controllable by Mr Trump or any of his rich friends. Neither is it so likely to install back doors and weaknesses for the NSA, CIA or any other such criminal organisation.

So the new KGB knows my name, address and browsing habits? I really don't care. It has no affect on my personal security or sense of well being. I can not say the same for DT and his orange friends.

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Re: Treat it as a reccomendation

This, in a nutshell. I can't think of a better recommendation for any product than "the NSA doesn't like it."

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Re: Treat it as a reccomendation

Its not Der Donald I worry about but the mid-level flunkies with too much time and nothing to do. Given the nature of feral criminal law, el flunky will have an easy time finding something to charge you with that is a feral felony.

Ask Martha Stewart what she actually was convicted of (lieing to a federal agent) not insider trading. Her 'crime' was trying to protect her broker from being fired, so she told the ferals a couple fibs to protect her broker. Neither of them were guilty of insider trading, broker was guilty of talking to much, Martha guilty of trying to protect him. But the ferals announced rather loudly that she was going down for insider trading that they had to find something to justify actions.

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Re: Treat it as a reccomendation

Ha, ha, Comrade!

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Re: Treat it as a reccomendation

Right, but Kaspersky is in control of the Russia government, run by a former KGB agent, and Kaspersky himself was trained at a KGB school. I'd prefer my antivirus with a little LESS obvious conflict of interest, please.

Otherwise, great point, Boris!

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Flame

Re: Treat it as a reccomendation

@zarvus: You realise, of course, that my point was not that Russia is all sweetness and light but that we have skeletons in our closets and rampant hypocrisy enough of our own as well, yes? Which do you prefer, an organisation which is open about its desire to oppress or one which does the same authoritarian shit but wraps it up in a veneer of "for your own good"?

Before you start banging on about democracy, take a look at how much choice you *really* have in those elections you're so fond of. Even the candidates are pre-selected before you even get to know there's an election happening, not to mention the actual core of "free western democracy" is beyond the electorate's reach in reality - the career civil servants, who are the reason the policies never seem to change between administrations, regardless of what the manifestos promise.

So, tovarisch, do you still feel like taking the piss or can you admit that no system is perfect?

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In U.S., the system operates you.

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Thumb Up

3 reg.offices to be opened in 2018

I never realised El Reg was so closely related to Kaspersky! Nice of them to supply our favourite IT rag with three new offices! Or should I read the whole article before posting?

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Facepalm

Re: 3 reg.offices to be opened in 2018

>>Or should I read the whole article before posting?

Why break the habit of a lifetime?

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Anonymous Coward

*sighs*, not another Potemkin Joke...

You Pro-Russian commentards clearly do not get the whole joke, and thus fail rather hard at understanding Russian mentality.

The joke here is that after returning to civilization the Russian is lauded as a hero for killing / driving off the "terrorists" who heartlessly and cruelly killed the German and American. (and conveniently claiming the tribes land and resources for Russia) The moral? "Never do for yourself what you can do by proxy, it helps with plausible deniability." Don't believe me? Try asking a Pole, Lithuanian, Hungarian or Czech.

"Proof" you ask? How about the fact that the Russian came armed, whilst the American (who are always portrayed as gun nutters) apparently did not.

Amusingly this joke also fails rather hard at understanding American mentalities, let alone German ones... (Seriously? Americans are gluttons and Germans are sex-crazed?)

And on an amusing Potemkin side note, apparently for Putin's recent visit to Perm, they put up cardboard cutouts to cover up the *actual* physical state of Perm...

*facepalms*

Oh, and least I forget, those who normally think that Western Totalitarianism would be a bigger threat to them than Russia and China would do well not to forget that if they can plant kiddie porn, ISIS propaganda, etc. on your computer, they can also "anonymously" inform the authorities and have said Western Totalitarianism "kill" you. I should remind everybody that they've done this before to dissidents in the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

This may help putting things in context

I found this referenced at EasyDNS, and it's a long but worthwhile read.

How the CIA made Google: Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, western governments are moving fast to legitimize expanded powers of mass surveillance and controls on the internet, all in the name of fighting terrorism.

Let's just say that it's worth simply not trusting *any* government. As for Kaspersky, I'll continue using them. They're the only ones that have a consistent record of refusing to collaborate with government spyware, which is probably the real reason why the US government is trying to damage their business.

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Anonymous Coward

Why not capture some Wireshark-based evidence?

If this accusation is true, then it would be worth capturing some evidence. The missing Wireshark logs evidence is deafening. Even if there is encrypted communications, that's enough. I've not trusted any of the antivirus cartel. They're all extremely weird.

This accusation is a bit like the Cuban Acoustic attack causing hearing damage. Okay, what frequency? Ultrasonic? 52.7 Khz? 83.7 Khz? Subsonic? 2.17 hz? 1.3 hz? You'd think that somebody would have handed out earplugs while they set up a microphone/sensor to gather this most trivial of basic evidence.

Strange planet recently. Time to stock up on canned goods...

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And Veeam?

How are Veeam and Acronis going to fare being Russian?

Veeam try to hide it nowadays but essentially still as russian as Standard Vodka?

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