By Robert Hackett
November 4, 2017

The position of Kaspersky Lab, a lately beleaguered Moscow-based maker of antivirus software, has been slipping in the U.S. since allegations arose that Russian spies somehow used its technology to conduct espionage. (The company has denied any wrongdoing.)

In Sept., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security banned Kaspersky products’ installation on federal systems. The controversy also led big box retailer Best Buy to pull the software from its shelves.

Despite these setbacks, Kaspersky still enjoys a strong presence in the market thanks to a program that licenses its technology to other businesses. Consumers, in other words, may be using services that incorporate Kaspersky’s tech, such as its popular antivirus engine, without realizing.

While perusing a list of Kaspersky’s “technology partners,” Fortune noticed that references to 67 of them vanished from the English version of its website sometime after August 24th, when a cache of the original page was last archived. Some of the businesses originally listed included Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Cisco’s Meraki, Symantec’s Blue Coat, Check Point Software Technologies, and Juniper Networks.

It’s unclear why the list was taken down—right around the time that Kaspersky began facing increased scrutiny and backlash for its alleged proximity to Russian intelligence services. The full list remains posted on the Russian version of Kaspersky’s website.

Sarah Kitsos, a spokesperson for Kaspersky, told Fortune in an email that she is looking into the matter. “There might be some technical issues associated with it,” she said.

Eugene Kaspersky, founder and namesake of the cybersecurity firm, told Reuters in a recent interview that his company’s software occasionally hoovers up non-malicious files from the computers on which it is installed. This behavior, said to be unusual for an antivirus program, raises more questions about the company’s practices.

Fortune has reached out to a handful of the companies listed on the Russian and cached English versions of Kaspersky’s technology partners page, including Amazon, Blue Coat, Microsoft, Check Point, Cisco and Juniper, in order to clarify the nature of their relationships. We will update a version of this story on when we hear back.

Enjoy the weekend.

Update 11/4/17: Check Point said it made versions of its security products that exclude Kaspersky’s tech available on Sept. 10, leaving the choice to customers.

Robert Hackett


Welcome to the Cyber Saturday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett here. You may reach me via Twitter, Cryptocat, Jabber (see OTR fingerprint on my, PGP encrypted email (see public key on my, Wickr, Signal, or however you (securely) prefer. Feedback welcome.


You May Like