Kaspersky Provokes Controversy

Cyber security industry pioneer Eugene Kaspersky (pictured) has been given a strong response from other leading industry figures following a statement he made on Russia's attempted invasion of Ukraine. “Like the rest of the world, we are in shock regarding the recent events. The main thing we can do in this situation is provide uninterrupted functioning of our products and services globally.”

Kaspersky, who is the founder and CEO of the leading security firm Kaspersky Lab, based in Moscow, made his comments to 186,000 followers of his personal Twitter account. “We welcome the start of negotiations to resolve the current situation in Ukraine and hope that they will lead to a cessation of hostilities and a compromise. We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War isn’t good for anyone.”

This is a reference to initial peace talks that took place between Ukrainian and Russian officials recently on the border with Belarus, and a fresh agreement for the sides to meet again in the coming days.

Kaspersky followed this with another tweet: “Like the rest of the world, we are in shock regarding the recent events. The main thing we can do in this situation is provide uninterrupted functioning of our products and services globally.” 

His description of the conflict as a “situation” and apparent attempt to advertise his firm led to a angry criticism from other industry executives: 

  • Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at Trend Micro wrote: “Better to have stayed silent than to have called an invasion a “situation” that requires a “compromise" or to assert that it 'isn’t good for anyone'. Russians are not being murdered.”
  • Brian Honan, a well known cyber security expert responded to Kaspersky's message:  “Eugene there is no 'current situation' in Ukraine. It is an invasion leading to a war in which innocents being killed by Russian soldiers. Russia needs to stop its war and leave Ukraine to the Ukrainian people #StandWithUkraine️” he tweeted.

Eugene Kaspersky’s comments follow a a corporate statement made by his company, which intended to  confirmed its neutral status. This read: “As a technology and cybersecurity service provider the company is not in a position to comment or speculate on geopolitical developments outside of its area of expertise.”

Following Kaspersky’s tweet, the hashtag #BoycottKaspersky appeared on social media site. One user wrote: “This is an awful statement by #Kaspersky that reduces an invasion of a sovereign nation to a "situation" and asks for "compromise" instead of full withdrawal by Russia Please ditch Kaspersky today.”

Eugene Kaspersky:      Brian Honan:      InfoSec Today:    Infosecurity Magazine:    Cybersecurity News:    

Latest Breaking News Video:      Vice / Motherboard:  

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