Tag Archives: Kaspersky Security Network

Kaspersky Selects Malaysia For APAC Transparency Center!

Kaspersky Selects Malaysia For APAC Transparency Center!

Kaspersky just announced that they have selected Malaysia as the site for their APAC Transparency Center!

Here is everything you need to know about the third Kaspersky Transparency Center, and why they chose Malaysia.

 

The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative

The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative began in October 2017, as a way to allay fears that Kaspersky Lab products and services had backdoors built-in.

It was really an extension of Eugene Kaspersky’s offer to show Kaspersky Lab source codes to the US government.

For a more detailed take on the Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative, we recommend :

 

Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative APAC Update

The Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, Stephan Neumeier, kicked off the launch with an update on the Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative, with a focus on the APAC region.

  • Started relocating customer data storage and processing infrastructure for European users from Russia to Zurich, Switzerland, to be completed by the end of 2019.
  • Opened two Transparency Centers in Europe – in Zurich (November 2018) and Madrid (June 2019). The Spanish Center also serves as a briefing center for key company stakeholders.
  • Successfully completed the Service Organization Control for Service Organizations (SOC 2) Type 1 audit. The final report, issued by one of the Big Four accounting firms, confirms that the development and release of Kaspersky’s threat detection rules databases (AV databases) are protected from unauthorised changes by strong security controls.
  • Since announcing the Bug Bounty program’s extension, Kaspersky resolved 66 bugs reported by security researchers and awarded almost $45,000 in bounty rewards.
  • Kaspersky also supports the io framework which provides Safe Harbor for vulnerability researchers concerned about potential negative legal consequences of their discoveries.
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Why Kaspersky Selected Malaysia For The APAC Transparency Center

Kaspersky revealed that their APAC Transparency Center will be located in Cyberjaya, in partnership with CyberSecurity Malaysia.

Cyberjaya was selected because of its central location and close proximity to many key Kaspersky clients in APAC, as well as other security- and infrastructure-related reasons.

 

What Is The Kaspersky APAC Transparency Center For?

The new Kaspersky APAC Transparency Center in Malaysia will serve as the third trusted code review facility, after Zurich and Madrid.

Government regulators and Kaspersky enterprise clients can request to come to the Kaspersky APAC Transparency Center to examine or review :

  • source code of Kaspersky consumer and enterprise solutions, like Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS), Kaspersky Endpoint Security (KES) and Kaspersky Security Center (KSC)
  • Kaspersky’s threat analysis, secure review and application security testing process
  • all versions of Kaspersky software builds, and AV database updates
  • data feeds that are sent by Kaspersky products to the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network (KSN)

It will also function as a briefing centre, where guests will be able to learn about Kaspersky’s engineering and data processing practises.

This new Kaspersky Transparency Center is slated to open for its first visitors in early 2020. Like the other Transparency Centers, access is available only upon request.

 

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The 2019 Kaspersky Cybersecurity Report – Key Findings + Advice!

The 2019 Kaspersky Lab year-on-year cybersecurity report is here, and it revealed a number of interesting changes in cyberthreats. Here is a quick primer on what the Kaspersky Lab team discovered!

 

The 2019 Kaspersky Cybersecurity Report

The 2019 Kaspersky cybersecurity report is based on the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) data from 2017 and 2018.

This report saw an appreciable drop in local infections in Malaysia, but it’s not all roses. The same report noted massive increases in web threats and malware hosting during the same period!

Web Threats

Web Threats, also known as Online Threats, are malware that attack users through the Internet. It can be in the form of a browser-based attack which hijacks the victim’s computer.

The 2019 Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity report reported that they detected over 42 million web threats in 2018 – a shocking 2.5X increase over 2017.

No of Detections

Users Attacked

Rank

2017

2018

2017

2018

2017

2018

16,740,303

42,052,261

33.2%

37.7%

25th

25th

Local Threats

Local Threats are infections or malware that attack the victim’s computer through infected media (like a USB drive), or initially gets into the computer in an encrypted format.

This is the silver lining in the report. The Kaspersky Security Network recorded a 17.4% drop in local threats in 2018, compared to 2017. Even so, that was still way over 67 million detections, and local threats remain a serious cybersecurity threat.

No of Detections

Users Attacked

Rank

2017

2018

2017

2018

2017

2018

82,026,205

67,739,963

605%

56.5%

74th

86th

Malware Hosting

Malware Hosting in the report refers to malware that was detected to be hosted on servers or websites based in Malaysia.

The team reported a massive 3.4X increase in servers or websites hosting malware in Malaysia. Over 1.6 million servers or websites!

No of Incidents

Share of Incidents Hosted

Rank

2017

2018

2017

2018

2017

2018

480,090

1,640,611

0.03%

0.05%

37th

39th

 

2019 Kaspersky Lab Cybersecurity Advice

Kaspersky Lab security experts advocate the following basic but important steps to protect yourself against cyberthreats in 2019 :

  • Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
  • Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
  • Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity their origins.
  • Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program such as Kaspersky Internet Security.

 

The Kaspersky Security Network

The 2019 Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity report relied on data collected by the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).

KSN is a distributed infrastructure dedicated to intelligent processing cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world. By analysing these data streams automatically in the cloud, KSN delivers much faster reaction times to new and yet unknown cyberthreats.

KSN also employs Kaspersky Lab’s HuMachine principle ~ both Kaspersky Lab expert knowledge and next-generation machine learning capabilities are merged, allowing Kaspersky Lab to spot patterns, changes and new threats in the cyber landscape with greater accuracy and skill.

 

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The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative Explained!

The upcoming Trump-Putin summit aside, Kaspersky Lab is pushing forward with their Global Transparency Initiative. What is the Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative? And how does it help guarantee that Kaspersky Lab products and services are safe to use?

We explain it all, with a little help from Stephan Neumeier and Oleg Abdurashitov from Kaspersky Lab!

 

The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative

The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative began in October 2017, as a way to allay fears that Kaspersky Lab products and services had backdoors built-in.

It was really an extension of Eugene Kaspersky’s offer to show Kaspersky Lab source codes to the US government.

July 2017 : Eugene Kaspersky Offers Source Codes To US Government

In response to the US government’s prohibition on the use of Kaspersky Lab products, Eugene Kaspersky offered to make Kaspersky Lab source codes available to the US government for inspection.

Oct. 2017 : Source Codes Available For Inspection

In the initial version, Kaspersky Lab offered to :

  • make their source codes available for independent review and evaluation,
  • conduct an independent assessment of their software development and supply chain,
  • establish three Transparency Centers in Asia, Europe and the US.
  • increase bug bounty awards to US$100,000

We immediately pointed out that it did not address a major concern of the US government – that data is still being routed through Russian Internet service providers that are subject to the Russian intelligence surveillance system called SORM (System of Operative-Investigative Measures).

Kaspersky Lab maintained that customer data sent to their Russian servers are encrypted, and they do not decrypt them for the Russian government. But it would be impossible for them to prove that to anyone’s satisfaction.

May 2018 : Core Operations Moves To Switzerland

Last month, Kaspersky Lab announced that they are establishing a data center in Zurich by the end of 2019. This facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow.

The Kaspersky Switzerland facility will :

  • store and process customer data of select countries outside of Russia
  • host Kaspersky’s software build conveyer that will assemble and digitally-sign the final executable files and updates
  • serve as the first Kaspersky Transparency Center.

In addition, Kaspersky will be arranging for a qualified and independent third-party to review and supervise the data storage, processing, software assembly and source codes at this Zurich facility.

The very act of moving their customer data out of Russia to a neutral country finally removes our main criticism of their initial transparency initiative. Now, no one has to worry about sensitive data being transmitted through the Russian SORM intelligence surveillance system.

 

The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative Going Forward

The establishment of the Swiss datacenter is merely another phase in the long process of “earning trust”, as Stephan Neumeier called it. Eventually, customer data from most countries outside of Russia will move to that datacenter.

By the end of 2018, all Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to customers worldwide. All newly assembled software will also be verified by an independent organization, certifying that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

The next step would be the establishment of two more Transparency Centers – one in Asia, and another one in North America. Singapore and Canada are probable favourites.

 

Perhaps A Backdoor Bounty?

We would suggest that perhaps Kaspersky Lab should establish an independent backdoor bounty program, separate from their current bug bounty.

A large sum of money could be placed in escrow, under an independent and competent third-party, which can freely investigate and reward security researchers who can successfully prove the existence of a backdoor in any Kaspersky product or service.

That would go a long way into shoring up trust of those who have neither the financial nor the technical capabilities to visit a Kaspersky Transparency Center and peruse millions of lines of code.

 

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Kaspersky Moves Core Russian Operations To Switzerland!

In a move to allay fears of collusion with Russian authorities, Kaspersky Lab announced on 15 May 2018 that they will be moving a number of their core Russian operations to Switzerland. This would include their customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly and threat detection updates.

To ensure full transparency and integrity, they are also arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland. Here are the full details!

 

 

Customer Data Storage & Processing

Kaspersky Lab will establish a data center in Zurich by the end of 2019. This facility will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow.

This information is stored and processed at this facility will be voluntarily shared by users of the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) – a cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data. 

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code.

Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide.

The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organization and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

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First Kaspersky Lab Transparency Center

Kaspersky Lab first announced their Global Transparency Initiative in October 2017. One of their initiatives include the creation of three Kaspersky Transparency Centers – one each in Asia, Europe and the US.

The first Transparency Center will be in Switzerland, and is expected to open this year. It will allow organisations and governments to inspect and review the source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates in a secure facility.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. They are also calling for the creation of a new, non-profit organization to take on this responsibility.

Don’t forget to read our interview with Eugene Kaspersky on his alleged ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

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