Russia’s Eugene Kaspersky remains neutral over Ukraine war | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack | #education | #technology | #infosec

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Eugene Kaspersky, head of his namesake Russian cyber security firm, on Tuesday released a statement suggesting that he wants to remain neutral in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Kaspersky expressed hope that discussions would result in “a compromise.”

“We welcome the start of negotiations to resolve the current situation in Ukraine and hope that they will lead to a cessation of hostilities and a compromise,” Kaspersky said on Twitter.

“We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War isn’t good for anyone.”

In another tweet, he said, “like the rest of the world, we are in shock regarding the recent events.”

“The main thing we can do in this situation is provide uninterrupted functioning of our products and services globally,” he stated.

In a response to Motherboard, the firm said that as a provider of tech and cyber security services, it was unable to comment or speculate on geopolitical developments outside of its field of expertise.

On February 24th, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an invasion of Ukraine with the goal of “disarming” the country.

So far, the Ukrainian side has refused to surrender and showed a willingness to fight. Talks between the two sides are ongoing, with Ukraine demanding an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of Russian military.

The Western-led response to the Russian attack has been sweeping, with sanctions virtually cutting out Moscow’s biggest financial institutions from key Western markets.

Kaspersky is a well-known Russian company, and its antivirus software has long been among the most popular in the world.

The company was the first to expose information on the Equation Group, a US government hacking group. Over the past years, Kaspersky has also investigated many hacking groups thought to be linked to the Russian state.

However, the firm has also faced its own criticism for its alleged ties to the Russian government. For example, in 2017 the Trump administration prohibited the use of Kaspersky software on government machines.

While Kaspersky’s statement reflects the company’s neutral stance on the Ukraine conflict, some people believe maintaining silence on the issue means indirectly backing the Russian government – something that Kaspersky, headquartered in Moscow, may feel compelled to do.

Leading members of the InfoSec community have criticised Kaspersky – the person – over his characterisation of the conflict as a “situation.”

Rik Ferguson, VP of security research at Trend Micro wrote: “Better to have stayed silent than to have called an invasion a ‘situation’ that requires a ‘compromise’ or to assert that it ‘isn’t good for anyone’. Russians are not being murdered.”

Brian Honan, CEO of BH Consulting, also criticised Kaspersky’s wording of his statement.

“Eugene there is no ‘current situation’ in Ukraine. It is an invasion leading to a war in which innocents being killed by Russian soldiers,” he tweeted.

Not all Russians back Putin on the invasion. On Saturday, thousands of Russian IT professionals signed a petition urging the government to end its military actions in Ukraine.

 “We, employees of the Russian IT industry, are categorically against military operations on the territory of Ukraine initiated by the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” the petition says, according to the Washington Post.

“We consider any display of force that leads to the outbreak of war unjustified and call for the reversal of decisions that could inevitably entail human casualties on each side. Our countries have always been close to each other. And today we are worried about our Ukrainian colleagues, friends and relatives.”

By Saturday evening, more than 10,000 individuals had signed the petition, which was made and shared on Facebook by Natalya Lukyanchikova, who works for a prominent Russian tech firm.

Among the people who had signed the petition were employees from Russian online job recruitment portal HeadHunter and social networking giant VK.



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