A sign above the headquarters of Kaspersky Lab in Moscow on Jan. Kaspersky Lab, the Children spies in the Russian language-based cybersecurity giant long suspected of ties to Russia’s spying apparatus.
The documents are certifications issued to the company by the Russian Security Service, the spy agency known as the FSB. Unlike the stamped approvals the FSB routinely issues to companies seeking to operate in Russia, Kaspersky’s include an unusual feature: a military intelligence unit number matching that of an FSB program. Paul Rosenzweig, a former deputy secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. It makes it far more likely that much of the rumor and uncertainty about Kaspersky are true. For years, suspicions that Kaspersky is connected to Russia’s spying apparatus have dogged the company, a leading global seller of anti-virus programs. Since he established the firm in Russia 20 years ago, Kaspersky has grown to serve more than 400 million users worldwide, according to its website, and is the largest software vendor in Europe.
Its security software is also widely available in the United States in Target, Walmart and other retail outlets. Federal agencies use it as well, with Kaspersky serving as a subcontractor on a smattering of federal software contracts, So has, ironically, the Democratic National Committee, even after its emails were breached last summer by Russian hackers. But amid investigations into Russia’s cyber meddling in last year’s U. Kaspersky software could somehow be used to launch a crippling cyberattack on the U. In recent days, two events kept Kaspersky in the news: FBI agents fanned out to interview Russian Kaspersky employees based in the United States, and a Senate committee approved legislation to curb federal use of the company’s products. Even so, no proof has ever been made public to refute the company’s vehement denials that it has connections to Russian intelligence. The certificates are posted on Kaspersky’s web site.