Eugene Kasperksy has lashed out at free antivirus vendors, saying they are “cheaters” who just use a “copy and paste” method to offer protection.
In comparison to those AV companies that “do the job” and invest in their own detection technologies, free AV providers just use competitors’ findings to block threats, the Kaspersky CEO told TechWeekEurope.
Time to legislate?
“There are other companies which just install competitors and they scan incoming stuff by other products. And if it is detected, they detect it as well. Free antivirus products, just look at their financial results, they have fantastic performances simply because they don’t invest in their R&D,” Kaspersky said.
“They just copy and paste detection. They don’t ask, they just take.”
Should there be legislation that stops free AV vendors from doing this? Maybe, Kaspersky said, admitting it was harming his company’s business “a little bit”. “It’s cheating. They don’t do the work,” he added.
Kaspersky would not go into detail about which companies he was referring to as cheats. A number of big-time players are playing in the freemium AV space, including Avast, AVG, Avira, and the market’s most recent entrant and enterprise security giant Check Point. All offer paid-for versions of their software, however.
As for what plans Kaspersky has to up its own game in the security space, the company chief revealed a play in the increasingly-busy Security Information and Events Management (SIEM) space could happen within the year. “Let’s speak in a year,” he added…
I wasn’t aware of this opinion about free AV’s. What I had heard was more that they offer a package which cannot fully protect the user as an incentive to upgrade to the full (paid) version. In this way they offer inadequate security. (By the way I believe that this is a false statement for many vendors)
I hadn’t heard this about stealing detections. Perhaps he’s talking about VirusTotal and the test that Kaspersky did where they created a fake detection and then saw that other vendors detected it as well. Now where is that topic…
Can anyone find a link to that other topic I’m referencing?
Stealing of signatures would be pretty easy to proof. It was easy enough for Malwarebytes to proof IOBit was unrighteously using their signatures. That makes me belief mr Kaspersky does not have a case.
Mr. Kaspersky has recently also been noticed shooting from the hip when it comes to the security of Apple computers. It looks to me like he is on some sort of crusade without having found what to target yet…
Maybe he is refering to the fact that some companies add hashes to there database and they get those hashes from website such as virustotal. Only adding the hashes if the file is detected by vendor X (vendor that has almost no false positives)? So there is almost no virus research only adding hashes.