Kaspersky on getting hacked


EXCLUSIVE: This week IT PRO reported on security firm Kaspersky getting hit by hackers, effectively being beaten at its own game.

The breach, where cyber criminals tried to lure users into downloading fake anti-virus products with a link located on the Kaspersky website, went public without the company making any announcement on it.

Now we have managed to speak with the UK managing director Malcolm Tuck, who said Kaspersky did not feel it needed to publish a public warning as it would not have benefited anyone.

Instead it would only "have caused panic and confusion," Tuck stressed, saying the situation was identified and then rectified "very quickly."

All known affected people have now been contacted and Kaspersky is continuing to offer advice and support.

As noted in the previous report, the redirection to the fake anti-virus lasted three and a half hours and as soon as it was notified, the security firm took the affected server offline within ten minutes.

Tuck admitted that at the current time the impact of the attack is unknown, but Kaspersky is optimistic not many were affected.

"We are confident that the speed with which the situation was

dealt with has limited any impact," he said.

So what about reputation, something many consider to be the most serious impact from a breach?

"Judging by recent trends within the industry, breaches of security, especially when they occur within a security vendor's resources, do not go unnoticed," Tuck said.

"However, we are doing our utmost to contain the impact of the incident and reassure our customers that they are secure and protected."

As for the specifics of the hack, when IT PRO spoke to the Russian company earlier this week, it admitted an attack had exploited a vulnerability in a third party app used for website admin.

The issue affected "a very small number" of Kaspersky customers in the US, Tuck said, claiming no individual's details were compromised from the firm's web servers during the attack.

Tuck was unwilling to divulge any more information due to the fact an investigation is ongoing and until it is completed, we will not learn any more.

"Our researchers are currently working on identifying any possible consequences of the attack for affected users and are available to provide help to remove the fake anti-virus software," he added.

What this case brings up is the question of public disclosure. Kaspersky was evidently very quick to respond to the actual hack and in contacting affected parties, but it was not willing to let the wider community know about the situation. Whether this is the right approach or not is a debate that will no doubt rage on.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.