Eugene Kaspersky, the CEO of Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab, has said he is willing to give American authorities access his company’s source code in an attempt to dispel rumours about ties to the Russian government.
The US government has accused Kaspersky of working with Kremlin hackers in the past after rumours started circulating over 20 years ago, a claim he has adamantly denied on several occasions.
However, the long-standing suspicions have so far refused to disappear, prompting US Senators to consider banning all Kaspersky Lab products for military use amidst national security concerns.
It seems Kaspersky wants to put the issue to bed once and for all, which has continued despite the absence of any firm evidence,
“If the United States needs, we can disclose the source code,” he said, speaking to The Associated Press. “Anything I can do to prove that we don’t behave maliciously I will do it.”
Coming just days after the homes of several Kaspersky Lab employees were visited by FBI agents, he also said he would be willing to testify in front of US lawmakers and even move some of his research to America.
“Unfortunately, now the links to the FBI are completely ruined,” he said about the incident. “It means that if some serious crime happens that needs Russian law enforcement to cooperate with FBI, unfortunately it’s not possible.”
Kaspersky did admit that there have been “several times” when certain governments have attempted to lure him to “the dark side” of nation-state hacking, but that all such discussions were stopped immediately.
He also acknowledged that the company does employ ex-Russian intelligence staff, but assured that it would be extremely hard for a single employee to get away with stealing company data.
“It’s almost not possible. Because to do that, you have to have not just one person in the company, but a group of people that have access to different parts of our technological processes. It’s too complicated.”
The Kaspersky concerns have become prominent recently due to strained relations between the US and Russian governments.
US authorities have accused state-sponsored Russian hackers of tampering with last year’s Presidential election, a situation which resulted in the White House expelling 35 Russian diplomats in response.
Two Russian spies were also recently indicted by the US Justice Department for orchestrating the high-profile Yahoo hack, despite Vladimir Putin declaring that the Russian government has never been involved in cyber attacks against other countries.
Russia is also under the microscope on this side of the pond. Russian hackers are believed to be behind the theft of British MPs’ passwords and GCHQ has warned political parties of the Russian threat to upcoming elections.
Quiz: Are you a security pro?