In an effort to restore consumer confidence, Moscow-based cybersecurity and Anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab announced that they are willing to undergo source code review starting Q1 2018. In addition, they have increased bug bounty reward per discovered vulnerability from $5,000 to a whopping $100,000!

The announcement came at the heel of the hacking fiasco which connects Kaspersky Lab with Russian government hackers. As reported by The Wall Street Journal early this month, the hackers were able to penetrate the personal/home computer of a National Security Agency contractor through the popular anti-virus software.

Assuring safety

The plan to undergo the anti-virus software’s source code for review is seen by many security experts as a way to recuperate from the bad image brought about by the hacking incident. However, even though Kaspersky’s action is seen as “a dramatic step forward,” it seems “not necessarily sufficient,” according to former NSA director Michael Hayden as posted on Reuters.

Neustar senior vice president Rodney Joffe suggested that Kaspersky Lab must also allow scrutiny of all the existing source codes, “A good start would be a release of the source code for the products already out there, that matches the actual installed code base,” Joffe told Reuters. Joffe is an advisor to the U.S.

Federal Communications Commission.

Nothing to hide

Starting Q1 of 2018, Kaspersky Lab will submit source codes to an internationally recognized authority “to verify [the] integrity of our solutions and processes.” In addition, they have set up a three-year plan that will establish three transparency centers in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

by 2020 that will give everyone access to check the update and source codes, as well as the threat detection rules.

As part of enticing people to participate in checking vulnerabilities, Kaspersky Lab decided to raise the bug bounty reward from $5,000 to $100,000. “We’ve nothing to hide,” said Kaspersky Lab chairman and CEO Eugene Kaspersky.

The Russian cybersecurity expert hopes “to overcome mistrust” and to show their commitment to serving everyone.

Spies watching spies

Thwarting and establishing the hacking operations embedded on Kaspersky Lab was a case of “spies watching spies watching spies,” as described by The New York Times. According to the report, Israeli intelligence caught the Russian government hackers sifting through computers around the world in search for American intelligence programs code names.

The hack was carried using Kaspersky Lab – the Russian-made anti-virus software. By using the anti-virus’ access to every file stored on a computer, it allows the hackers to sift through sensitive information much like search engines’ usage in searching for a website.

Once the scan is completed, it then sends back a report to Kaspersky Lab – a perfect way to infiltrating sensitive data.

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