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Kaspersky Lab moving out of Russian Federation to combat Kremlin spy fears

16 May 2018

Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs is moving a significant part of its production and storage to Switzerland after it came under fire for supposed connections to the Russian government.

Kaspersky has now taken steps to mitigate the damage caused by these events by announcing plans to move a number of "core processes" out of Russian Federation and to Zurich.

The transition of systems and data will be overseen by an unnamed independent third party that is based in Switzerland.

The move is part of Kaspersky Lab's transparency initiative that it launched in October previous year.

Kaspersky denied that its products had "backdoors" which would allow Russian intelligence agencies to spy on computers using its software, and said it would take measures to reassure customers about the safety of its products.

The post continued: 'Although the current level of protection in our data processing and software development infrastructure is extremely high, we are constantly working to improve it.

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Although Congress mandated the software be removed in its annual defense policy bill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had already issued a directive last September ordering civilian agencies to expunge Kaspersky products from their systems by a December deadline. The US government alleges the company's software represent a "grave risk" to USA national security.

Servers that process and store information for users located in North America, Europe, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore will also be moved to Zurich.

United Kingdom government departments and USA agencies were subsequently banned from using the software.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said it would will relocate its "software build conveyer" - a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software from source code - to Zurich. Other aspects of the plan include an independent review of its source code by an "internationally recognized authority", an independent review of Kaspersky's internal process, and increased payouts for its bug bounty program.

Reuters first reported the plans in March, citing company documents which said Kaspersky Lab was setting up the centre in response to moves in the United States, Britain and Lithuania previous year to stop using the company's products.

The most important goal of our Global Transparency Initiative is to establish all reviewing processes in such a way that there will be no need to rely on our word alone about the integrity of our products, updates, detection rules, data storage, and things like that. The justice minister said he's also advising companies in key sectors such as energy or telecoms to not use Kaspersky Lab siftware, as well as those subject to defence contract requirements.

Kaspersky Lab moving out of Russian Federation to combat Kremlin spy fears