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Kaspersky CEO hits back over malware claims

As we reported yesterday, well-known anti-virus outfit Kaspersky Labs has been accused of creating fake malware to confuse competing products. The claims were made anonymously by two ex-employees of the company and published by Reuters. Today, the CEO of Kaspersky Labs has refuted the accusations in a lengthy blog post.

The story is “complete nonsense, pure and simple” in the words of Eugene Kaspersky. “Disgruntled ex-employees often say nasty things about their former employers, but in this case, the lies are just ludicrous. Maybe these sources managed to impress the journalist, but in my view publishing such an ‘exclusive’ — WITHOUT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE — is not what I understand to be good journalism.”

Related: Kaspersky Lab accused of faking malware to generate false positives in competing software

Kaspersky admits the industry as a whole had a problem with “false positives” — legitimate software marked as malicious — during 2012 and 2013. He says these false positives seemed to be planted by an unknown party working to take down the major antivirus companies, and they certainly weren’t created by Kaspersky in an attempt to damage its rivals.

Of course, now it’s just one person’s word against another: Reuters hasn’t presented any evidence to back up its claims besides the information supplied by its anonymous sources, and Kaspersky hasn’t presented any evidence that proves his firm had nothing to do with it. This story could still have a long time to run and is unlikely to boost the public’s trust in the software security market as a whole.

“I really do hope that people will see through these anonymous, silly, and groundless accusations,” concludes Kaspersky in his defense. “What I can say for sure is that we’ll continue working very closely with the industry to make the digital world safer, and that our commitment and resolve to expose cyberthreats regardless of their source or origin won’t waiver.”