Kaspersky sues Dutch newspaper for defamation
Tue 12 Jun 2018
Embattled security firm Kaspersky has taken its fight against ‘fake news’ to the next level by suing Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf for defamation.
The Russian cybersecurity company, led by Eugene Kaspersky, is taking the paper to court after it ran a sensational story about a female hacker gaining access to Kaspersky’s corporate network and obtaining a number of IP addresses.
According to Kaspersky, the article is a prime example of ‘fake news.’ The firm has stated that the story was concocted by a Dutch politician, Willem Vermeend, who had previously written a book on cybersecurity which was binned for plagiarism.
According to the company’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, Vermeend ‘leaked’ the story to De Telegraaf as an anonymous source.
In a blog post, Kaspersky pointed to a number of inconsistencies and holes in the story. According to the firm’s founder, the company has been the victim of a number of baseless attacks and coverage in the media as a result of accusations from anonymous and unreliable sources.
Kaspersky wrote: ‘Inevitable questions like why specifically we were hacked, why those particular IP addresses were obtained, etc. are left unanswered, but for us the key thing to be addressed was the claim that someone had breached our own highly secure corporate network.
‘So yes, we took the claims very seriously. We’re a cybersecurity company, remember?! So naturally we carried out an internal investigation. And guess what it showed. No hack occurred.’
The firm has apparently tried thrashing out the situation with De Telegraaf, but to no avail. As such, on May 25, Kaspersky filed a defamation suit.
Kaspersky has had a fairly torrid time recently, with multiple accusations over Kremlin connections. These accusations have resulted in U.S. government agencies blacklisting the firm from use after an NSA agent was apparently hacked through the firm’s software.
As a result of these accusations, though Kaspersky maintains it is completely innocent, the firm has opened up a transparency centre and moved a number of its data centres to Switzerland in order to distance itself from Russia.
Despite this, little has improved for the firm. It was reported in De Telegraaf itself that the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security was not satisfied with Kaspersky’s move to Switzerland.
In return, Eugene Kaspersky has written at length about fake news and a ‘media-ocracy’, which he describes as a ‘vehicle for instilling in readers’ minds images of an ‘enemy’ and using false allegations for taking political decisions.’