Kaspersky CEO Says He Never Worked with Russian Intelligence Agencies

Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab Company, said he was never working with Russian intelligence agencies on Tuesday, he would quit Russia if its intelligence agencies ever asked his company to spy for it.

The Kaspersky Lab products have been banned in the United State due to the Russia intelligence agencies incident, and Kaspersky is famous because of their anti-virus software in PC. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has banned government agencies from using Kaspersky Lab software, after concluding that the company’s anti-virus software had been used to copy sensitive files with American secrets.

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The company and Eugene Kaspersky have strongly denied they ever cooperated with Russian intelligence, but, they have said their software inadvertently copied files containing U.S. data.

“Never, never,” the founder told reporters at a media briefing at the company’s offices in London, when asked if Russian intelligence agencies had ever asked him to help spy on the West. “They have never asked us to spy on people. Never.”

CEO Eugene Kaspersky said accusations his software had been used by Russian spies to steal American secrets had caused the company’s revenue to decline in North America, but said it was still growing in other parts of the world. Kaspersky said his company’s revenues would top $700 million globally this year. But revenue in North America would be about 5 to 8 percent lower this fiscal year than last year as a result of the U.S. accusations, he said.

He expects Kaspersky European revenue to be flat year on year, while revenue in the rest of the world will continue to grow in double digits.

Kaspersky, who studied in a KGB institute in Moscow, once served as an engineer for Soviet military intelligence (GRU) before founding his computer security company in the years following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. He has repeatedly denied that he has done any favors for his former spy colleagues.

“If the Russian government comes to me and asks me to (do) anything wrong, or my employees, I will move the business out of Russia,” Kaspersky said in English. “We never helped the espionage agencies, the Russians, or any other nation.”

He said his products were aimed at “designed to stop attacks, to recognize malicious code, not to spy on our customers.”

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Kaspersky also said his company and him together would fight to protect its reputation: “We will fight.”