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US authorities well-aware Kaspersky Lab not linked to cyber espionage, CEO says

September 28, 15:39 UTC+3 ST.PETERSBURG

Kaspersky earlier received an invitation to testify before the US Congress to address the allegations against his company

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© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

ST.PETERSBURG, September 28. /TASS/. Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, is confident that American authorities are aware that his company is not linked to cyber espionage on behalf of Russian government.

"I’m more than sure that they know that we cannot do that. One thousand people work for the company, but this does not mean that some programmers wearing dirty sweatshirts sit in basements and each of them writes a part of a code. These are teams that do entire chunks of projects, and it is impossible to do something secretly here," Kaspersky told reporters on the sidelines of a cyber security forum.

The CEO said his company has become the victim of a political melee. "Now they simply attack everything Russian and as we are also present there we were also hit," he said.

Speaking about theories that Russia’s authorities could force Kaspersky Lab to spy for Moscow, Kaspersky said "this would spell disaster for Russia’s entire cyber security sector."

"They [the US] say the authorities [Moscow] may come and force us to do something bad, but this would be like shooting yourself in the foot, this would spell disaster for the entire software business in Russia, that would mean [losses of] billions of dollars per year. So this is nonsense," he explained.

Kaspersky earlier received an invitation to testify before the US Congress to address the allegations against his company. He agreed to testify, but later Washington postponed the hearing.

"It happened that I was invited to Congress and I accepted and agreed to it. But they refused, and postponed this," Kaspersky said, adding that he already got a US visa and was ready to come on a certain date.

On September 13, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that Kaspersky Lab products threatened the country’s national security and urged US government agencies to abandon its products. According to the department, the Russian company's products can be used by Russian authorities to access government documents of the United States.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the US authorities’ decision against Kaspersky Lab as politically motivated. Moscow said this move amounts to unfair competition.

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