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Falcon Trading System’s position on Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Presently, Falcon Trading Systems continues to recommend Kaspersky's Anti-virus.

While there's an abundance of articles with allegations and and condemnations against the company, the lion's share of articles we've analyzed tend to point towards many of the same claims brought up in 2017, we will address these later in this post. The only seemingly valid claims are from the Department of Homeland Security's(DHS) 2017 Binding Operational Directive(BOD) (here is that issuance https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/19/2017-19838/national-protection-and-programs-directorate-notification-of-issuance-of-binding-operational)

Recently, there has been a decent amount of buzz around the FCC adding Kaspersky to the "List of Equipment and Services That Pose Security Threat." The official notice simply points to the original 2017 DHS BOD, and uses it as the sole justification for the notice, in what appears to be a dogpile attempt paraphrased here as, "DHS made a request, there must have been good reason" Kaspersky has since responded to the FCC notice as well(https://www.kaspersky.com/about/press-releases/2022_kaspersky-statement-on-the-fcc-public-notice.)

One of the primary concerns for the private firm was its geographical location. Kaspersky has made significant efforts to separate their private company from the jurisdictions and reputation of their origin country. For example, due to the claim's pressures, Kaspersky has been using their migrated data-processing centers and software development team in Switzerland, they migrated to these servers in 2018. Other services now use servers located in Canada, Germany, and other countries depending on client system location/region. They have also moved the holding company' location to be based in the United Kingdom as further separation from their founding country. They are one of the forefront leaders for being transparent about their business practices, here's a link to their Global Transparency Initiative: https://www.kaspersky.com/transparency-center where you can find information as to the third party audits and other information regarding their servers. You can also submit a request for remote and/or physical access to their source code. These steps are unique in the realm of anti-virus companies as most are entirely closed off and do not communicate, nor modify their operations on the behest of their customer's requests. The steps taken were not offered as recourse but instead made voluntarily to address the concerns of the initial BOA filed by the DHS mentioned and linked above.

Regardless of the potential geopolitics a service may be thrust into, our stance is such that until there becomes a better functioning alternative, or until reviewed evidence that Kaspersky is operating maliciously comes forth, we will continue to recommend Kaspersky for their merits. Kaspersky has a nearly perfect record of stopping not only widespread malware, but also stopping on average 100% of Zero-Day malware releases(check AV-test link below.) The claims presented in the FCC and DHS documents we've reviewed only present the possibility of malicious activity. This prospect is applicable to every modern anti-virus software voiding their concern and recommendation when anti-virus is a necessity. Anti-Virus software is by design able to read and modify files on computer systems as is necessary to prevent malicious software, therefore every effective anti-virus software will have the same risk.

Individual Risk management is the only justifiable reason for exception to our recommended anti-virus. This means your threat model should be analyzed on an individual, per system per person basis. If the individual considers the software being used nefariously more likely than contracting a virus or malicious file, we of course recommend removing said risk. From a merit and risk standpoint, Falcon Trading Systems recommends the use of Kaspersky's Anti-Virus software.

Note

If you work for a government entity which has banned the use of Kaspersky Anti-Virus, you are legally unable to install Kaspersky products like those mentioned above. Refer to your entity's specific policy

Primary sources:
AV-test(compares Kaspersky effectiveness to other industry leaders): https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/manufacturer/kaspersky-lab/
FCC Expands List: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-expands-list-equipment-and-services-pose-security-threat
Kaspersky's response to FCC Public notice: https://www.kaspersky.com/about/press-releases/2022_kaspersky-statement-on-the-fcc-public-notice
Kaspersky's response to BSI(German Federal Office for Information Security agency): https://www.kaspersky.com/about/press-releases/2022_kaspersky-statement-regarding-the-bsi-warning
Kaspersky has a history of responding directly to virtually all claims with extensive detail: https://securelist.com/investigation-report-for-the-september-2014-equation-malware-detection-incident-in-the-us/83210/
Initial BOD filed by DHS: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/19/2017-19838/national-protection-and-programs-directorate-notification-of-issuance-of-binding-operational

Updated on April 25, 2022

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