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Cybersecurity Firm Kaspersky Lab Denies It Sabotaged Competitors

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab denies allegations made in a Reuters report that the company sabotaged rival antivirus software.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab is denying allegations made in a Reuters report that the company sabotaged rival antivirus software. Reuters cited two former employees as saying Kaspersky had deliberately falsified testing results and shared them with competitors, leading them to include the fake data in their own products.

"Kaspersky Lab has never conducted any secret campaign to trick competitors into generating false positives to damage their market standing," Kaspersky said in a statement issued Friday. "Accusations by anonymous, disgruntled ex-employees that Kaspersky Lab, or its CEO, was involved in these incidents are meritless and simply false."

The company did note that it had performed one test in collaboration with a computer magazine, assigning clean files a fake threat level in order to show how such false positives are adopted without further testing by the security community. That test, the company said, was publicly documented shortly thereafter and discussed with competitors in order to prevent such an occurrence from actually happening.

The Reuters report alleges that Kaspersky continued this practice, however, modifying common files to appear malicious to other virus scanners and uploading them to shared malware-tracking databases like Google's VirusTotal.

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Moscow-based Kaspersky, one of the largest and best-known Internet security firms in the world, denied this was the case, saying in its statement that trust is an essential component of the security sector.

"Although the security market is very competitive, trusted threat data exchange is a critical part of the overall security of the entire IT ecosystem, and we fight hard to help ensure that this exchange is not compromised or corrupted."