October 2017 EDIT: Since we posted this back in August, new information has come out indicating that Russia has been using Kaspersky software for spying. Whether or not Kaspersky was directly involved or if this effects Kaspersky’s consumer products, is still not known. However, if you prefer to switch to another product, see our recommendation below.
There have been several news reports discussing possible ties between Kaspersky Labs and Russian intelligence. Each new “revelation” seems to consist of another American government official speculating, without any specifics, that Kaspersky may be doing bad things. Several of our customers have inquired whether we are still comfortable recommending and selling Kaspersky products.
First, there is no evidence that Kaspersky is using its products to spy on behalf of Russia or any other entity. Some of the news reports refer to the fact that Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Kaspersky Labs, went to a Soviet intelligence school as a teenager. This is essentially the entire case against Kaspersky at this point.
While I, Roberta, am as concerned as anyone about Russian hacking and interference in our last presidential election, there is no evidence that Kaspersky has anything to do with any of this.
Secondly, while it makes sense for federal agencies to be particularly careful about what security products they use, whether foreign or domestic, we believe it is highly unlikely that the Russian government is trying to spy on individuals, who are unlikely to have anything of value to a foreign entity, via Kaspersky’s consumer product offerings.
We don’t see a need for any of our customers to switch at this time. If information comes to light indicating that Kaspersky may be involved in Russian spying, we will reevaluate our position. For now we believe Kaspersky is the most effective consumer anti-virus software available.
If you disagree with our assessment and you prefer to switch to another product, you may consider the highly regarded WebRoot antivirus as an alternative. Of course we can’t guarantee that any company is not involved in corporate malfeasance or spying, but if you decide to purchase WebRoot, we can help you remove Kaspersky and install WebRoot in its place. Regular labor rates will apply.