back to article Citation needed: Europe claims Kaspersky wares 'confirmed as malicious'

The Kaspersky bad news train just keeps rolling on with Strasbourg Eurocrats having adopted a motion today (A8-0189/2018, en français) that could ban its wares from European Union institutions. The wide-ranging non-binding motion is primarily concerned with cyber defence, stating that "the EU and the Member States face an …

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  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    You do not need evidence against Russians

    The current modus operandi is that you do not need evidence against Russians. Hearsay and rumors are good enough. If that is not enough lie a bit. Then lie a lot. This is across the board. I can provide citations, but IMHO it is unnecessary - Boris and Co generate them on a weekly basis (or even higher frequency).

    Dunno if whoever came up with it ran it past a person who is familiar with Russian mentality and Russian culture - out of all possible strategies the "uncorroborated hearsay sprinkled with lies" probably ranks as the one they find most alienating and hostile. This is a natural result of having to endure 70 odd years of society where a bit of hearsay took you down the green corridor in the basement of Lubianka towards the wall with a lot of pockmarks on it.

    While I personally would like to see Eugene remove the hide of the idiot busybody who wrote that it is "proven" in the complete absence of any public evidence, but I would not hold my breath about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

      I could wish you had made a clearer, cleaner differentiation between Russians and the Russian government. After all, not all Russians fire missiles at civilian airliners. Here's an upvote assuming you were thinking of that.

      And I too think Kaspersky is getting the "freedom fries" treatment. Hey, let's rename the bad stuff EUware (ewwware, yuckyuck)

      1. ecarlseen

        Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

        Thank you. The more I travel and the more wonderful folks I meet all over the world, the one thing I've learned for certain is to never confuse the people of a country (who, on average, tend to be somewhere between OK and pretty cool) with the assholes in their respective governments.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

        After all, not all Russians fire missiles at civilian airliners.

        Correct. However, if it was the government directly it would have been Buk Mk2, from the AA base in Shakty 30km away accompanied by a TELAR, RADAR and a support truck which is the standard setup for an AA company in ex-Soviet block army. It would not be a transported 700km across 3 military zones of command in a state which would result in the crew cleaning latrines for 30 days if they were on active duty. It would not use a missile which is officially scrapped. It would not be wondering alone without its support train and it will not be photographed by 30 people on the motorway.

        That does not mean it was the government indirectly. There are LOTS of questions to be answered by Putin and his crew on how Wagner and other Russian "armies for hire" operating in Ukraine, Caucasus, Kongo, Syria and elsewhere around the world got their T72 tanks, heavy artillery, AA and even attack helicopters and drones and how are they used and against whom.

        However, we will not get them answered the way we are approaching this. Not now, not ever. Every bit of evidence is interpreted only one way: "Putin cooks children on neurotoxic gas" and "he gives command personally for everyone being murdered by a Russian worldwide".

        Well, maybe he does.

        However, he is teflonated and there is no way we will get to him via hearsay, Boris style lies or deliberately misinterpreting the evidence as in the MH17 case. I am saying deliberately because even if the Dutch do not know what is the way things are run in a Russian regiment, there are 10-odd ex-Soviet block countries in NATO and they got their comparison missile sample (which is ALSO a Buk Mk1 - something which is supposed to be 100% scrapped) from Georgia which is also ex-USSR. Asking any one of them would have given them an immediate "this missile is past its mandatory disposal date and you need to come up with a feasible explanation" recommendation.

        If we asked the right questions there, we could have gotten somewhere by now. But we are not and we will not. We prefer to lie or hearsay. It's easier than asking the right question.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

          "That does not mean it was the government indirectly."

          Well given ukraine doesn't have those missiles in their arsenal perhaps you'd like to fill us in on who you think it might have been if not the russians or their proxies in eastern ukraine? Take your time.

      3. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

        "not all Russians fire missiles at civilian airliners". From what I've seen, the official accusation against Russia on the shooting down of MH17 is that, in the words of the UK Prime Minister "Russia must bear sole responsibility" because the missile was manufactured in Russia.

        By that token, when are we going to condemn America for every Palestinian child killed by a US manufactured bullet, or Japan for every rocket fired by IS out of the back of a Toyota Hilux?

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

          @DiViDeD - while you are correct that indeed, the initial accusation was based on little evidence, the investigation recently concluded by the Dutch government is more conclusive

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

          "are we going to condemn America for every Palestinian child killed by a US manufactured bullet". Bearing in mind it is largely America that has blocked sanctions against Israel in relation to the occupied territories, then yes.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

            Actually, it's England's fault for stealing the land from the Palestinians in the first place, and then turning it over to Europe's displaced Jews. Guilt's an ugly thing.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

              We didn't steal it from the Palestinians, we stole it from the Turks.

              How's California?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

                Not the Turks, the Ottomans. Splitting hairs? Perhaps ... But please note that the land in question was, and still is, called Palestine. By everybody. For these last couple thousand years. Is it any wonder the Palestinians are a trifle pissed off at the homeless squatters on their territory?

                California just is, as usual. We have our issues, too ... Nobody's perfect.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

          I'm not disagreeing with the principle of your argument here, but I think the MH17 example strains credulity just a little bit. The Toyota Hilux is widely available for sale all over the world. Even small arms, like pistols, revolvers and semi-automatic weapons [even Kalshnikov fully automatic weapons] are widely available on black markets.

          But the Buk SA-11, the type of missile believed to be responsible for the loss of MH17, is more than 5.5 metres long, weighs up to 715kg at launch and requires a purpose-built mobile launch platform to be used. Not the sort of thing you can pick up at Walmart.

          This specific observation aside, your argument has merit: it's hard to put a bullet in someone when you don't have a gun. This is why the US, with the highest levels of private gun ownership worldwide, has the highest rates of gun woundings and killings, whilst Japan, which makes private gun ownership all but impossible, has one of the lowest. We can argue the politics until the cows come home, but the numbers speak for themselves.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

            > the Buk SA-11, the type of missile believed to be responsible for the loss of MH17, is more than 5.5 metres long, weighs up to 715kg at launch and requires a purpose-built mobile launch platform to be used. Not the sort of thing you can pick up at Walmart.

            No?

        4. 59TG

          Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

          Is this the place to mention all the folk in Yemen and elsewhere killed by aircraft sold by the UK?

    2. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

      Regarding Boris in particular: why should the Russians be an exception? He seems to be lying all the time and have a long history of it; it got him sacked by the Times and employed by the Telegraph

    3. ShelLuser

      They learned from the best!

      First it were non-existing weapons of mass destruction, and now it's "malicious software". Anything to blame it on the Russians. After all, they are the aggressive dominating power here. Just look at them being right at the European border!

      ... wait. Wasn't that border in East Germany several years back, with an historic Berlin wall separating the city? And isn't that border now almost located in the Ukraine? Almost literally at the Russian border itself?

      Whatever happened to that treaty which got signed after World War II which prevented both the USSR and the EU from expanding their borders? So, like, who's the aggressor here? I have my own ideas about that.

      Remember: warfare in this modern age isn't only playing out on a battlefield. Financial based warfare is a thing too these days. And the best part is that it's almost invisible for the common population.

      What a world we live in <sigh>

      1. SAdams

        Re: They learned from the best!

        “Whatever happened to that treaty which got signed after World War II which prevented both the USSR and the EU from expanding their borders? So, like, who's the aggressor here?”

        The treaty was not for Stalin to do what he did and install puppet communist goverments in Poland etc etc., if you really want to go back there....

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: They learned from the best!

        "Whatever happened to that treaty which got signed after World War II which prevented both the USSR and the EU from expanding their borders? So, like, who's the aggressor here? I have my own ideas about that.".

        Not so fast, trying to explain history in one sentence is indeed <sigh>.

        There was no EU then and independent countries apply to join the EU. There is no treaty against that. The USSR fell from inside and so did the wall, remember Gorba. So far so good.

        There are indeed those who claim that the NATO expansion was against a not written promise but again there is no such treaty.

        What has happened in Ukraine and the Crimea is clearly against a treaty however.

        You could try Stephen Kotkin on that, among many others.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnWp_kr4tfc

        PS. Try to base your ideas on facts.

        PPS. Regarding Karspersky I have no facts, consequently no idea to share.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        Re: They learned from the best!

        Who built the Berlin Wall, and why? Who attempted to blockade Berlin, and why?

        It's no surprise that after years of being under the hard Russian boots, those countries - democratically - moved towards the West and the "wall" moved East - a wall that Russia keeps on building itself because it can't accept full democratic values and people like Putin need a strong nationalism to keep power despite being unable to create a well working economy.

        The WWII treaties required free elections in all liberated countries - not USSR invading East Europe and setting up communist governments, and ensuring in 1956 (Hungary) and 1968 (Czechoslovakia) nobody changed idea sending tanks in - and it got back to those behaviour in Crimea and Donbass.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They learned from the best!

        My god, where to start?

        The wall that was in Berlin, in the middle of East Germany? That was built by Russia to stop East Germans fleeing to the West?

        The satellite states weren't voluntarily under USSR domination, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, once again became sovereign nations. If they decide to join Nato (possibly because of their proximity to Russia!), that's up to them.

        I'm no supporter of the evil Russians meme, but Putin and co can go fuck themselves.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: They learned from the best!

          "once again became sovereign nations. If they decide to join Nato (possibly because of their proximity to Russia!), that's up to them."

          Tell that to Georgia.

      5. strum Silver badge

        Re: They learned from the best!

        >Whatever happened to that treaty which got signed after World War II which prevented both the USSR and the EU from expanding their borders?

        You are letting your imagination run away with you. The EU didn't sign anything with the USSR. Yalta was a 'gentleman's agreement' (with few gentlemen present). No treaties have been broken.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

      You only have to look at the Android clickbait spew from Kaspersky to see they have literally no credibility anymore. Checkpoint just as bad...

    5. 59TG

      Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

      Thought experiment:

      Mistrust Kaspersky AV because of the likelihood of ties to the Russian govt. and assume that its effectiveness against (possibly Russian state-sponsored) malware, certainly no worse than any of the other AV vendors, is a price that said govt. is prepared to pay for whatever it gains from the deal.

      Mistrust CheckPoint because they just may help Mossad to be as good as it is at what it does.

      Mistrust Symantec because they probably feed stuff to the NSA, CIA and whoever else, and the govt. only let them continue researching Stuxnet because the only other major AV vendor doing so back then happened to be Russian.

      Add further mistrust here to suit your taste/nationality.

      So - for a level of breach tolerance up to and including huge embarrassment/massive nuisance, pay your money and take your chance. For the stuff on which lives really depend, get physical, use the air gap, and take a lesson from the poor b*stard who broke the rules and carted a USB key into an Iranian nuclear plant.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this a form of sanctions against Russia?

    Or are they really targeting Kaspersky and believe Eugene is Putin's cyber-bitch? And what about data-center relocation to Switzerland? Can't trust hackers.. Can't trust AV. (Avast / AVG has Win10 / Facebook slurp WTF?)...

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Is this a form of sanctions against Russia?

      Err, they detected and stopped plenty of cyberwarfare from the uk and the us.

      I would say that is the problem for them.. they dont want their stuff being detected, and cannot force them to not detect their malware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this a form of sanctions against Russia?

      I don’t think it’s sanctions, after all the sanctions have overall been a blowback boon to Russian industry and problematic for EU farmers, at least. (Some countries alleged seem to bypass this particular type of BDS action)

      I think it’s just page one of spook protocol “control the communications channel(s)” and AV is a particular channel that is annoying when a rogue product(s) is/are available that sometimes find OUR malware! STIX is great, but what about our threats?

      In my case a malware was deployed to my 9-yr old son, the obfuscated JavaScript was only discovered 7 years later when Bitdefender (Romanian) picked up the traces. I suppose they’ve now been given more accurate ‘whitelists’ for the sigs.

      It’s not as though shouting FUD has ever worked, Microsoft is still the worlds premier computer corp, and still the most innovative? No?

  3. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    Eugene and his ilk sell nothing but snake-oil anyway. The only thing that can protect you from so-called "cyber crime" is wetware. You know, that lump of pinkish-grey fat between your ears.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever. (Speaking of bodily wisdom)

      唇亡齿寒 lit. without the lips, the teeth feel the cold (idiom); fig. intimately interdependent

      Layered defense?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever. (Speaking of bodily wisdom)

        The trouble is, the malware du jour has to make it past the teeth & gums and make it down into the guts of the machine before the snake-oil can deal with it. Anti-malware is a placebo that brings about nothing but a false sense of security, leading directly to defensive laxness on the part of the user.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Whatever.

      Eugene and his ilk sell nothing but snake-oil anyway.

      So Jake, you totally discount all the useful work that Kaspersky Labs do in identifying and warning about malicious software?

      Or perhaps you think it's all misdirection and a Commie plot?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever.

        Alister, perhaps I'm hard of reading, but could you please point out where I discounted any research done by anybody, anywhere? I must have missed it.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    And remove USA software?

    Given the revealed spying of USA / 5-eyes on various EU nations, can we also expect a directive to eliminate any USA software that has built-in telemetry or remote access built in?

    1. seven of five

      Re: And remove USA software?

      Of course not: These are THE GOOD GUYS!

      Don´t be silly.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: And remove USA software?

      Yes, of course. That's snake-oil too.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: And remove USA software?

      Actually EU should not trust US software - it was already bad before Trump, now it can only get worse.

      The problem Kaspersky has is his government can't be trusted at all - and that has become true for US as well, one you could think as an EU ally you may have got a different treatment, Trump make sure nobody could think it anymore.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And remove USA software?

        Actually EU should not trust US software - it was already bad before Trump, now it can only get worse.

        Great idea. The EU could use its own software. Oh, hold on, they tried that in Munich* and then gave up. As you were.

        * That's assuming Linux counts as European. I would expect nobody actually knows the national provenance. And regarding security, if you're a state actor, and can't hide a backdoor in 15m lines of supposedly open source code you aren't trying very hard.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: And remove USA software?

          Actually EU should not trust US software - it was already bad before Trump, now it can only get worse.

          At the moment would you rather have the Russians reading your tariff response discussions or the Americans?

      2. caradoc

        Re: And remove USA software?

        "it was already bad before Trump, now it can only get worse."

        Is he writing software now?

        There are few options left to blame for troubles in the world these days:

        It's Putin

        or

        It's Trump,

        or

        It's Global Warming.

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    WTF?

    Lawyers are doubtless oiling up the sueball catapult as this very moment

    Why do I keep reading that as 'oiling up the seagull catapult'?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Probably because ...

      ... you've been watching old footage on YouTube? (Am I the only one somewhat surprised that someone didn't paste in the rather distinctive Geneva Drive sound on that clip?)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Probably because ...

        "... you've been watching old footage on YouTube? "

        Nice! That looked like a significantly shorter take off than an F3fB can manage. I wonder what it would cost to retrofit the QE and PoW with cats like that?

    2. GIRZiM
      Go

      Re: 'oiling up the seagull catapult

      Because you are a very lucky person, who lives in a much more interesting and fun world than I do - thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. Boohoo4u

    I get it... massive amounts of cybercrime is coming from Russia, and it’s State sponsored.

    But, I’ve yet to see evidence of Kaspersky‘s involvement...

    Give me evidence, and I’ll be hater. But, give the F’n evidence already.

    All I hear is bureaucratic BS.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      All I hear is bureaucratic BS.

      That's about all you'll ever hear from a bureaucrat or politician. They haven't a clue what they get on about and write into laws.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Actually they do have a clue about their BS - it's called 'keep the plebs afraid so they will turn to us to save them'. It is a way for politicians and bureaucrats to keep their snouts in the public (tax) money trough.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Give me evidence, and I’ll be hater. But, give the F’n evidence already."

      If there was any evidence, the products would be banned from sale completely and any EU based Kaspersky presence would be in court sharpish. As others have said, this smells distinctly political.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Of course, Mr. (no body).

        It's purely political. And pointless. Bloody waste of time, even.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > As others have said, this smells distinctly political.

        Of course it is political. Having had my fair share of dealings with the EU, I cannot begin to tell you what A BUNCH OF WANKERS the current commission are. Calling them incompetent, corrupt and dishonest would be too good a compliment. At the same time, the European civil service has turned into nothing short of an old boys club where it is all about how you know not how good you are at something.

        It *is* despairing.

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