Is the Kaspersky Anti-virus safe?

We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about Kaspersky.  Is it safe? Why has the US government banned it?  Should I keep on using it?

In doing a little bit of research to answer these questions, I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer.  Yes, the US government has taken the software off of their list of recommended software.  And, yes, Best Buy has removed the product from their physical (and virtual) shelves.  But is there any logic behind the removal other than general suspicion about Russia in general?kaspersky Labs

According to this article in Bloomberg: “While the U.S. government hasn’t disclosed any evidence of the ties, internal company emails obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek show that Kaspersky Lab has maintained a much closer working relationship with Russia’s main intelligence agency, the FSB, than it has publicly admitted. It has developed security technology at the spy agency’s behest and worked on joint projects the CEO knew would be embarrassing if made public.”

The NY Times reported that:  “The F.B.I. has also been investigating whether Kaspersky software, including its well-regarded antivirus programs, contain back doors that could allow Russian intelligence access into computers on which it is running. The company denies the allegations.   The officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiries are classified, would not provide details of the information they have collected on Kaspersky.”

Kaspersky has responded by saying: “Regardless of how the facts are misconstrued to fit in with a hypothetical, false theory, Kaspersky Lab, and its executives, do not have inappropriate ties with any government. The company does regularly work with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world with the sole purpose of fighting cybercrime.”

This seems to be a reasonable response from an international company.

PC Magazine thinks this is all a bunch of hogwash and reached out to one of it’s experts, Graham Cluley, for his opinion.

“I’ve seen no evidence of Kaspersky having any inappropriate interaction with the Russian government,” said Cluley, “and no one seems to have presented any evidence of its software putting its US customers at risk. What I have seen are non-Russian security companies taking advantage of the current smear campaign against Kaspersky to promote their own solutions, which I find rather distasteful.”

If you’re interested, here are some additional articles on the subject:

  • BBC – 9/14/2017 – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41262049
  • Moscow Times – 7/12/2017 – https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/kaspersky-lab-denies-claims-of-cooperation-with-Russian-spy-agency-58368
  • Slate – 7/11/2017 – http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/07/11/how_worried_should_we_really_be_about_security_firm_kaspersky_lab_s_ties.html
  • The Hill – 7/2/2017 – http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/340420-kaspersky-willing-to-turn-over-source-code-to-us-government

By the way, I did ask Chris for his opinion about Kaspersky.  He said that it is a “perfectly good anti-virus, but we don’t recommend it.  It isn’t designed in an efficient manner and tends to put a drag on the overall operational performance of the machine.”

The anti-virus we do recommend is ESET’s NOD32.

Was this explanation helpful to you? Please forward to a friend!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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My Favorite Websites

Several months ago, I blogged about Chris’ favorite websites.  People keep asking me what mine are so here goes!

Searching:

For searching, I prefer Google over all the other search sites like Bing or Yahoo.  I think it’s results are accurate – it finds what I am looking for, especially if I use the provided search tools, like Images, Video, Date, etc.

News Sites:

I’m a Jersey girl and grew up with the Sunday New York Times – every week!  For a long time I didn’t like it because at my friend’s house, they had a newspaper with comics!  But as I got older, I learned how to read and enjoy it.  Now it’s my go-to website for what’s going on in the world.

I like the Huffington Post for its left-leaning news, and its separate pages for meditation, healthy living, and eastern religions.

I started following Mashable on Twitter ages ago.  Now, the website is my go-to site for news that not everyone is writing about.

Other:

Call me weird, but I have a huge collection of books.  I like LibraryThing because it helps me keep them organized.  You can borrow and lend books with other LibraryThing members too.

Entertainment:

If I ever have a question about a movie, or an actress, or who was that guy in that TV show, I head over to IMdb.com, short for Internet Movie database.

Eagles:

In the spring, there are a couple of webcams pointed at eagle nests.  I found it very relaxing to watch the mama and papa eagles tend the eggs and then the eaglets.  There’s one from Minnesota, one from Georgia, and one from Pennsylvania.  The webcams generally operate from February thru July.

What are your favorite websites?  Let me know why!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at www.GeekForHireInc.com. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area. They can provide remote service throughout North America.