Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
July 23, 2012 1:14 PM Subscribe
Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals.
posted by VikingSword (34 comments total)
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'Between 2009 and 2010, according to Forbes, retail sales of Kaspersky antivirus software increased 177 percent, reaching almost 4.5 million a year—nearly as much as its rivals Symantec and McAfee combined. Worldwide, 50 million people are now members of the Kaspersky Security Network, sending data to the company’s Moscow headquarters every time they download an application to their desktop. Microsoft, Cisco, and Juniper Networks all embed Kaspersky code in their products—effectively giving the company 300 million users.'
'Kaspersky staffers serve as an outsourced, unofficial geek squad to Russia’s security service. They’ve trained FSB agents in digital forensic techniques, and they’re sometimes asked to assist on important cases. That’s what happened in 2007, when agents showed up at Kaspersky HQ with computers, DVDs, and hard drives they had seized from suspected crooks. “We had no sleep for a month,” Golovanov says. Eventually two Russian virus writers were arrested, and Nikolai Patrushev, then head of the FSB, emailed the team his thanks.
Kaspersky’s public-sector work, however, goes well beyond Russia. In May, Gostev and Kaspersky were summoned to the Geneva headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union, the UN body charged with encouraging development of the Internet. The Russians were ushered into the office of ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré, where the Soviet-educated satellite engineer told them that a virus was erasing information on the computers of Iran’s oil and gas ministry. This was coming just two years after the discovery of the Stuxnet worm, which had damaged Iran’s centrifuges. Touré asked Kaspersky to look into it.'