Kaspersky Lab, the company behind popular antivirus software, has been accused of creating fake malware for more than ten years to harm its competitors. The software apparently fooled other antivirus software into marking it as infected.
Two ex employees of Kaspersky told Reuters that the attack was intended to punish smaller rivals that the company felt were stealing its technology.
Did Kaspersky create fake malware?
This is how it worked: Kaspersky apparently injected dangerous-looking code into common bits of software and then would anonymously submit the files to sites that aggregate malware such as VirusTotal. When competitors added the malware to their own detection software, they would mistakenly also mark the original files as dangerous because of the similar code.
The hoax at once time included rivals like Microsoft, AVG and Avast. The companies have not commented on the allegations against Kaspersky, but previously informed Reuters about an unknown third party trying to trick them to make false positives.
Reuters’ sources said they were part of a small group who knew about the sabotage, which was in force between 2009 and 2013. Kaspersky apparently had researchers on the project from weeks to months.
Kaspersky has denied the claims however:
“Our company has never conducted any secret campaign to trick competitors into generating false positives to damage their market standing. Such actions are unethical, dishonest and their legality is at least questionable”.
Reuters’ sources did not say if they though the sabotage to be going. You can read more on the story at the link below.