EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Norman Pulls The Plug On Kaspersky Software
Harvey Norman has pulled the plug on the sale of products from Russian security software Company Kaspersky, due to concerns that “usage data collected through the Kaspersky suite was being sold to advertisers” according to an email sent to Channel News.
The decision was made ahead of the US Government’s and US retailer Best Buys decision to ban the sale of the Companies software in the USA.
Not only concerned over security issues Harvey Norman management, were also concerned that customer data was being on sold, according to sources.
At the weekend Eugene Kaspersky who has regularly appeared at CEBIT in Australia has denied that the cyber-security firm he founded is close to the Russian government and insists it poses no danger to its customers. It appears that several Governments in Europe and the US along with several leading retailers don’t buy his explanation.
Mr Kaspersky told the BBC in London at the weekend, that the Trump administration’s move to ban government agencies from using his products was an “uncomfortable situation”. The US has said it is concerned that Kaspersky is vulnerable to influence from the Kremlin.
But the company’s founder said that while he lived in Moscow and his firm co-operated with Russian law enforcement on cyber-security, there were no deeper ties.
“When they say we have strong ties with Russian espionage it’s not true,” he said during a call from Argentina. Argentina.
“We co-operate with many law enforcement agencies around the world – in the past with the US as well.”
The American store chain Best Buy has stopped selling Kaspersky products, but Mr Kaspersky said he had had positive discussions with other retailers.
It appears that Harvey Norman made the decision to cut ties with Kaspersky 15 months ago over security concerns.
The problem for the company is that Russia is now seen as a haven for hackers and cyber-criminals, and its government is widely accepted to have interfered in last year’s American presidential election.
That means that a Russian business offering cyber-security software may struggle to convince consumers to buy products that their own government suggests are unsafe.
ChannelNews understands that Australian Government agencies also have concerns about Kaspersky software.