Do you remember about three months ago when there was talk that Kaspersky Lab may be in cahoots with the Kremlin? It was pretty shocking at the time, and it was a pretty big deal when the Department of Homeland Security decided it was a credible enough threat that they told government agencies they should stop using the popular antivirus software. As it turns out, Kaspersky’s been suspected for a lot longer than a few months.
It turns out that the Defense Intelligence Agency raised concerns back in 2004, according to a memo circulating among members of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. The memo, originally sent by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, cites a Pentagon email from November of that year where it’s mentioned that they started doing threat reports on Kaspersky. They also investigated the Russia-based cybersecurity firm in 2012. The Pentagon is said to have stopped using Kaspersky themselves a few years ago, but wasn’t able to provide a specific date.
The government’s fears may be well-founded, despite denial from Kaspersky Labs. A recent report suggests that Russian spies may have used Kaspersky to hack US intelligence.
Kaspersky has around 400 million users worldwide.