back to article Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

US big box retailer Best Buy has pulled from its shelves Kaspersky Lab's PC security software amid fears of Kremlin spies using the antivirus tool to snoop on Americans. Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat, the retail chain is ending its long relationship with Kaspersky, …

ALL shonky executabes, PDFs, non-confidential docs or spreadsheets go straight to Virustotal before being opened on on a VM that's had a recent checkpoint made and no network access.

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Mushroom

Re: needed to run a dubious exe file...

Come on, spill. It was iTunes wasn't it?!

More likely "basic_printer_driver.exe"...

--> Explosion of worthless stuff on your HD

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That's the spirit!

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My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand".

Had an email at work this week asking me to enroll in an online security seminar - with a number of links to click on to register, get more info, etc.

Seems to be working against what we're trying to teach our users.

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Anonymous Coward

"ALL shonky executabes, PDFs, non-confidential docs or spreadsheets go straight to Virustotal before being opened on on a VM that's had a recent checkpoint made and no network access."

And if you're dealing with a Red Pill (hypervisor exploit) capable of forcing your network stuff on to make a connection...or simply wait until you MUST update it by network or USB and infect the medium then?

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Anonymous Coward

...and what protection against malware ads?

Idiot, you don't HAVE to click on a drive-by download on a web page you THINK you understand. There are no "safe" web sites anymore. The risk of hacked web servers, poisoned ads, and dodgy scripting all totally bypass your "approved before I click" security method.

But the malware on your computer is carefully silent so go ahead and believe you've kept yourself safe!

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Angel

"Under Russian laws and according to Kaspersky Lab's certification by the FSB, the company is required to assist the spy agency in its operations,"

So the Russians have their own "All Writs Act" and "National Security Letters", don't they?

I wonder in what position this leaves American software makers. If I were in their boots, I'd start stockpiling lube. Just in case. 8^)

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Better watch out for those Canadian $2 coins with the microphone in the middle as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that like the RFID in our £1 supplied by ISIS?

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Hmmm

As regards looking for Russian interference, isn't this a case of deliberately ignoring the Dave the Orang-utan in the room?

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Meh

This is the same Best Buy that doesn't have hard drives (portable or external), wired mice, ethernet cards, any flavor of internal/external computer CDROM/DVD/Blu-Ray drives, or more than 2 models of LCD monitors available. No cable modems or routers, except maybe one or two low-end Linksys. No high end video cards either... i.e. anything bigger than a GTX-670. It's a waste of time to try to find anything there.

I have one literally next door. I haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years.

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Re: Meh

"I have one literally next door. I haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years."
That's nothing! MS are on the Interwebs which is as good as next door. Haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years either. Not that I'd want o give them any money since the GWX fiasco.

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Re: Meh

Same with Staples and Walmart. Their websites have tons of stuff but unless you need printer ink or a phone case or a basic router you are shit out of luck. It's pathetic how little these huge companies stock. Hell if I'm buying online then I'll go amazon and get a decent price because the only reason I'd use Staples or Walmart is because I want something now, not 3 days from now and these stupid companies are becoming more clueless every year. Online is not the future, its for when you can't find it nearby and we will then shop the cheapest and not the online version of the store that will not keep something on the actual shelves.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

"Online is not the future, its for when you can't find it nearby and we will then shop the cheapest and not the online version of the store that will not keep something on the actual shelves."

It IS the future, and you have no choice but to bend over. This from a guy who misses Radio Shack when one needed to fix an appliance on a Sunday (or you were paying for dinner out) when nothing else was open.

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Yawn

To quote the Bard - "Much ado about nothing". So the feral TLAs do not lean on local AV producers to provide information via their products. Given the behavior of the ferals one might believe that they fear Kapersky accidentally discovering their spyware/backdoors and publishing them.

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Anonymous Coward

Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat

Despite there being no concrete evidence of any kind to indicate that the security software is a threat ...

FTFY

Of course, the US has a good of for shooting itself in a foot for this kind of thing. Anybody remembers how the thing with Qian Xuesen turned out in the end?

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Re: Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat

Well, it depends who you are. Kaspersky Labs do actual research and are the ones who unearthed the Equation Group (NSA) and provided most of what we know about Stuxnet. So yes, there is evidence that they are a threat... if you're American Intelligence. ;)

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Big Brother

Confused

Did someone just swap the names "Russian" and "American"?

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Anonymous Coward

Classic whisper to reality campaign

The irony is that Kaspersky is one of the good ones. I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware, it's kinda annoying that especially a Russian operator shows you up.

This one stinks more than the socks of a battalion after a 20 mile march.

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Re: Classic whisper to reality campaign

"I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware"

Remember how BlackBerry lost US carrier support when it turned out their business encryption wasn't crackable?

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Classic whisper to reality campaign

"I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware"

- Emisoft is well known for telling governments (including their own) to stick it up where the sun don't shine, when pressured to put nation state spyware on their customers machines. When I was using it, this anti-malware would even find the digital rights managment (DRM) in my machine governing my HD content. At first I was able to get it to leave the DRM alone so I could enjoy my content, but eventually I had to get rid of it, becauser that featrue stopped working. However if you REALLY like a serious malware weapon; I'd say it is the best in the world at this time!

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It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

Otherwise, it seems to me, that such a guy, such an organisation, that leads in stopping threats would have all the skills to write malware and launch it on the US. At scale.

In what way is Russia hostile to the Yanks?

Apart from deterring regime change in Syria where the Yanks are arming/training the rebels/terrorists?

Oh, and recovering Crimea.

Any more?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

"In what way is Russia hostile to the Yanks?"

Report for retraining, gospodin.

Russia refuses to follow the US lead on oil and gas. So does Iran. That's basically it. And it was Putin who scuppered the attempt of the US oil industry to take over the Russian industry during the Yeltsin years (he even jointly wrote an MSc paper on extraction resources) which has made him a US hate figure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

As I have said before here, I met him personally and I think I have a fairly good read on people (part of my work).

In my opinion, if there *is* someone dodgy happening at Kaspersky I deem it unlikely that Eugene Kaspersky would be involved or that he would tolerate it..

The Kaspersky business has been pretty much around from the early days of Microsoft Windows (for obvious reasons), but I'd trust them more than Microsoft, a LOT more. That doesn't I can't make a mistake, but for the moment the story of Kaspersky really being a threat simply does not tally with the facts and the personality involved. It lacks body, it has the thin feel of a campaign.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

Russia refuses to follow the US lead on oil and gas

Worse, they're actively working to undermine the use of the US dollar for buying oil, one of the key reasons that allows the US to just keep borrowing more without ever paying it back (like having a credit card where the limit just keeps extending, while ignoring the interest that accumulates in the background). Their last deal with China was *not* in dollars, for instance. China plays quite a significant role here too.

In this context, however, it is worth remarking that none of this has any bearing on Kaspersky being some sort of evil spy company. I'd sooner stick that label to Microsoft Windows, but that's of course on behalf of *cough* "good guys" *cough*

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Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

Well it was a Democrat from my state that made the accusation and she isn't the sharpest pencil in the box. She just wants to look like she adding to the Russian conspiracy narrative they have been trying to make people believe but it seems only the stupid actually are falling for it as in Hillary and Bernie supporters but most Bernie Sanders supporters can't even describe what socialism really is and the ones that try are just so wrong it isn't funny.

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Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

Kaspersky are a pretty late player which makes it all the more impressive they broke into the AV market so effectively.

As AV goes, Kaspersky is pretty good but I've no idea what their relation with the Kremlin (if any) is.

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Facepalm

Anyone know who Hon Hai are?

Yes, one of the top three contract electronics manufacturers who created a division called Foxconn because of US xenophobia of a Chinese company manufacturing the iPhone.

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Angel

World War 3

Pfft, nobody will really care about any of it, they caused WWIII. Hey it was just Capitalism! It was totally OK for US to spy on them with there Mobile phone but it's not OK for them to spy on US with there Anti-virus solution.

Well now you get to reap what you sow, you wanted backdoors in everything, swift payments, insider trading fraud and malicious wiretap's used to illicitly transfer funds and now it's all out in the open what's the progress report, charged anyone lately, no of course not...

Far too busy investigating while they scream we have the right's to do this, while the "Communist" & "Community" block of hacktavists is also busy screaming "No you dont!" so to recap it all in a nutshell, you have attacked the "Communist" party, it's communist party line's used to gather evidence of crimes against the Prolitariate (People), attacking the very financial transfer systems that uphold the entire banking system and you thought that with every other nation, they'd just be fine with it? Because your the CIA or NSA or FBI and what you say goes right? An because nobody really cares what happened to those Billion's in bearer Bonds misplaced by the Pentagon right before 9/11.

No wonder we're all heading down the "Let's nuke em first!" line now being broadcast by all parties concerned.

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Joke

Re: World War 3

"so to recap it all in a nutshell, you have attacked the "Communist" party, it's communist party line's used to gather evidence of crimes against the Prolitariate (People), attacking the very financial transfer systems that uphold the entire banking system and you thought that with every other nation, they'd just be fine with it?"

Maybe the Communists could sue for theft of trade secrets and "passing off"?

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Re: World War 3 @ John Brown

Not so much passing off as passing the buck, rubles into dollars and vice a versa... From one account to another, but the irony is the system they used to do it was hailed as being the future at one time by all the scientists involved, which smack's of the level's of fraud so ingrained in the banking system and to be clear this banking system has enabled many to unjustly enrich themselves at the tax payers expense whilst they sat there writting the rules about the cryptography and of course the big surprise it was cryptography that all parties involved could break. After all how else do you use a wiretap if pesky crypto is going to get in the way? So now that they meet with resistance and hear the words revolution, they should take stock of exactly which party screams "Revolution" is it the cry of the Democrat? The cry of the Republican? Or the cry of the Communist? Take stock on that TV, all those fanatics marching, the US wanted to be the Worlds bank and now that people dont like what they see, who's fault is it?

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Best Buy Geeks

Wasn't it Best Buy's Geek Squad that was aiding the FBI recently and for quite a few years?

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I can't help loving The Reg sounding like Shylock when it says US software companies might lose BUSINESS if Russia makes good on using only its software. "My software, my dollars, my software" Maybe, JUST MAYBE, everything that is going wrong is a direct result of our country running risk after risk because BUSINESS is the only value we ever think of. Well, then let those companies PAY the costs that are a result of their years and years of selling everywhere it saw money. Social costs, as we all know, are never born by those who originally generate them. One thing that might impress Putin is if any American business walked away from a dollar or a rouble. Sort of like when a prostitute looks at a john and says "Sorry but I have SOME standards. Keep your money". Can the US of A ever BE that prostitute?

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Re: Can the US of A ever BE

Negligable, although Korea has no trouble labelling them as such in the latest round of debate...

The Jackboot of the American "imperialist" truely know's no bounds!

It's impressive that it's reached that stage though and enjoyable watching there obvious reaction to the wording, "Communist" party - "communications" and information dispersal system with distributed hetrogenous cluster's, you dont like "communism" that's OK I get the feeling they dont like you much either.

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Counteract stupidness or it will spread

The US has been upset with Kaspersky and determined to destroy his business since he released a public write-up of the NA malware/Equation group some time back.

""Because Kaspersky's servers are in Russia, sensitive United States data is constantly cycled through a hostile country," she said in an op-ed supporting the amendment.""

I wish the EU would ban American software that sends data over to America which most the world see's as a hostile country, at least in the way of it's government and it's actions. Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game.

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Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

"Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game."

You should ban the first two regardless of their country of origin.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game.

You can add MessageLabs to that, even the so-called "EU only" version, and I've caught Microsoft services too (in the worst possible place: a government setup). But hey, that's old news :).

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Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

"I wish the EU would ban American software that sends data over to America which most the world see's as a hostile country, at least in the way of it's government and it's actions. "

I'm American, and I see the American government as hostile, both to myself and to the rest of the world. Not sure how any thinking person could really see it otherwise, really. They're not hostile to foreigners and friendly to Americans, or even to other American government agencies; they're just hostile, period.

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Gimp

Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

"Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game."

I don't know about Fortinet, but I won't take a client that uses those other products - it just isn't worth the effort to try and keep their machines running.

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The sound of scores being settled.

One hopes this action hasn't been spurred by numerous recent pronouncements from the Trump administration and heads of various US Government agencies.

Because it smells a bit like the US Intelligence community settling a score for Kaspersky Labs' pivotal role in uncovering the Stuxnet virus 12 years ago and ascribing it's origin to the US and Israeli Governments.

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Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

It's already spread, to MEP's IPO's and other parties that claim they have the rights to leverage sanctions on countries poorer than themselves whilst they feed you there advertising properganda.

Windows has never been top of the game when it comes to Security, but then niether is Linux - the only one at the top of the game is the - wiretap which seem's to have misplaced "billions" of dollars in funds right before the twin tower's went up in flames with insurance fraud and the guy owning the building insuring them all for ten times there actual worth.

Now that they stamping down on the "Banks" they force the hand's of the "Communist" party to action and "Sanctions" is inflaming the flames of an already load of extremely pissed off people.

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Bounty

"software can have it removed by the retailer's Geek Squad techies, who may also check the computer for child abuse images" and add some if none found, since they get paid a bounty. Why would they need to examine documents while checking a computer's functions?

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Re: Bounty

"Why would they need to examine documents while checking a computer's functions?"

They don't... it's an end run around the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure. The courts have concocted this "expectation of privacy" standard to determine if a government action is infringing on a person's Constitutional right (hint: If it's in question, the answer is "yes"), and they've decided amongst themselves that when you bring a PC in for repair, you expect that it's normal for the repair people to go rooting through your stuff. That means there's no "expectation of privacy," they say, so to bring your PC in for repair is the same as giving consent for a government agent to have a gander at all of your personal stuff, even though you brought your PC to a Best Buy, not an FBI field office.

Government agents don't consider the Constitution to be a limitation on their powers, as it is intended to be. They see it as an annoyance that necessitates a series of procedural games that have to be played to pretend they're in compliance, while they actively and deliberately attempt to subvert every protection it has for ordinary people (and in full view of everyone). The Constitution says "no," but law enforcement agencies and the courts see a little asterisk by the "no," and they get to write the footnote at the bottom of the page that goes with it (and the exceptions they grant themselves are hundreds or thousands of times longer than the Constitution itself).

You can't lawfully have government agents randomly going through people's stuff to see if they broke a law; the government is required to have enough suspicion of a specific person committing a specific crime to satisfy a judge, who will then issue a search warrant. The very idea of that makes the petty tyrants bristle, so they wrote themselves a *footnote: if the people don't have an "expectation of privacy" in a given setting, then the government agents can do whatever they want (even though the words "expectation of privacy" never appear in the Constitution at all).

It's a tremendously convenient ability to have a roadmap of how you may "legally" violate the inviolable rights of anyone you wish. It's good to be the King.

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Re: Bounty

They dont they're just nosey which is why you should use PGP or VeraCrypt before you give your Laptop to Best Buy and to be clear, your not really going to enjoy a laptop with the untrusted TPM, the locked in UEFI bootloader and as to an earlier guys comments about it being iTunes.. No dude, it was in the Dashboard it's always been inside "Genie" the dashboard. Like the trojan they found infecting all versions of OSX onwards from 10.6 - the latest version of Darwin from apple?

What latest version, they no longer distribute Darwin_BSD as a seperate entity and it now comes with Microsuck (TPM) which in the older versions you could actually break into the AltiVec instructions.

When you start backdooring secure operating systems claiming your not breaking the law, then you are indeed breaking the law period.

Behold the true powers of the "Red Pill"

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What a turn round

Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

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Re: What a turn round

Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

There are no "hard left Dems" in Congress. The Dems are a center-right party, by world standards. So Congress has only "center-right" and "extreme right" wings.

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Re: What a turn round

Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

There are no "hard left Dems" in Congress. The Dems are a center-right party, by world standards. So Congress has only "center-right" and "extreme right" wings. The US has been drifting right since the 1980s (it never has been left).

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Joke

Re: a turn around

Not so much of a turn around, we still get to listen to the Sonic boom tonight as they vaporise each other after much posturing. Be sure to stand on the porch, that way you'll see the far away glow in an eire light. 2 Minutes to Midnight, the hand that becon's doom. Fingers crossed, maybe one of Kim's nukes will land on Trump tower!

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