Open Letter To All Information Security Professionals

I’ve been both a critic and a supporter of Eugene Kaspersky and his company Kaspersky Lab since 2009. In fact, I’ve published more information about Russian information warfare and cyber espionage both privately and publicly than most of my peers. There is no question that U.S. entities, both private and public, must be diligent and assess the risk of engaging with Russian entities, however the politically driven witch hunt that is currently underway in the U.S. media, Congress, and certain agencies of the U.S. government against Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky Lab, and Kaspersky Government Security Solutions is shameful and ignorant.

We are a young profession that is incredibly diverse culturally and geographically. We know from experience how fear, uncertainty, and doubt have been used to market bad products, push bad agendas, and promote bad politicians and policies. We collectively have so much dirty laundry hidden away in terms of practices, sources, and methods that many of us stay silent to avoid scrutiny. Or we’ll stay silent to avoid making enemies. Or to keep our jobs.

I’m asking you not to be silent about the fear campaign being conducted against Kaspersky Lab. It’s unfair, undeserved, and unwarranted. Many of us know Eugene and the members of his GReAT team personally. They are consumate professionals who have produced a body of work that has consistently moved our profession forward and made their customers around the world safer. They’ve identified Russian-speaking threat actors including Turla and Cozy Duke, both of whom have attacked U.S. government and DOD targets.

Today, they’re being collectively slandered without a shred of evidence. I, for one, won’t stand silently by and watch that happen. If the U.S. government is worried about a backdoor or sabotage, they can test Kaspersky AV for a backdoor. Test the software updates. Install it on a honey server and leave some juicy breadcrumbs. We all know what will happen. Absolutely nothing.

Please speak out publicly and show your support. The shoe could easily be on the other foot, and you would want the same consideration.

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