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Blacklisted cybersecurity firm Kapersky migrates to Switzerland


Cybersecurity company Kapersky Lab found itself blacklisted by U.S. federal agencies after accusations of enabling Russian spies to
steal NSA files. Unloved and perhaps unwanted, the company — which has denied any wrongdoing — is moving a number of its international data servers to neutral territory: Zurich.

Kaspersky Lab today said it will relocate "a good part" of its infrastructure—including build systems and servers—to Zurich, Switzerland, which will also be home to its first Transparency Center.
"The most important goal of our Global Transparency Initiative is to establish all reviewing processes in such a way that there will be no need to rely on our word alone about the integrity of our products, updates, detection rules, data storage, and things like that," Kaspersky wrote in a blog post.

The move comes after Kaspersky was accused of allowing Russian spies to use its antivirus software to steal classified files from the US National Security Agency in 2015. CEO Eugene Kaspersky has denied any wrongdoing, and argues that media reports are largely based on anonymous sources.
But the US Department of Homeland Security last year ordered federal agencies to stop using the company's software. Retailers including Best Buy have also dropped Kaspersky Lab products from store shelves, while Twitter recently bannedKaspersky ads.


But the US Department of Homeland Security last year ordered federal agencies to stop using the company's software. Retailers including Best Buy have also dropped Kaspersky Lab products from store shelves, while Twitter recently bannedKaspersky ads.
In response, Kaspersky Lab pledged to establish three "Transparency Centers" across the globe at which trusted partners can review Kaspersky Lab source code.
More notably, Zurich will be home to Kaspersky's build systems—or assembly line—"which work on the compilation and creation of Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule updates," the company said. "That way, our software will be compiled and signed in Switzerland under the supervision of a third-party organization before being distributed to customers."

Servers that house data on users in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore will also be in Zurich, with more countries to follow.
Moving the assembly line ("the easier part of the process," Kaspersky said) will be done by year's end. Creating a data processing infrastructure, which "requires several dozen services to be relocated from Moscow to Zurich and implemented" will be done by the end of 2019.
The move is intended "to increase our resilience to supply-chain risks and transparency to our clients," Kaspersky said. "Storing it in Switzerland under the supervision of an independent organization means that any access to this data is meticulously logged—and the logs can be reviewed at any moment should any concerns arise."

Which organization? Kaspersky said it "supports the creation of a new, nonprofit organization to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join."

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