First, here's the opinion of two former NSA cybersecurity analysts (via Consumer Reports
"It's a big deal," says Blake Darche, a former NSA cybersecurity analyst and the founder of the cybersecurity firm Area 1. "For any consumers or small businesses that are concerned about privacy or have sensitive information, I wouldn't recommend running Kaspersky." By its very nature antivirus software is an appealing tool for hackers who want to access remote computers, security experts say. Such software is designed to scan a computer comprehensively as it searches for malware, then send regular reports back to a company server. "One of the things people don't realize, by installing that tool you give [the software manufacturer] the right to pull any information that might be interesting," says Chris O'Rourke, another former NSA cybersecurity expert who is the CEO of cybersecurity firm Soteria.
But for that reason, Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky suggests any
anti-virus software will be targetted by nation-state actors
, and argues that for most users, "non-state criminal threats are worse. That's why Interpol this week signed a new information-sharing agreement with Kaspersky
despite all the revelations in the U.S. media: The international police cooperation organization deals mainly with non-state actors, including profit-seeking hackers, rather than with the warring intelligence services."
And long-time Slashdot reader freddieb
is a loyal Kaspersky user who is wondering what to do, calling the software "very effective and non-intrusive." And in addition, "Numerous recent hacks have gotten my data (Equifax, and others) so I expect I have nothing else to fear except ransomware."
Share your own informed opinions in the comments. Should users uninstall Kaspersky's antivirus software?