Kaspersky: Apple Didn’t Really Ask Us for Help

| News

Security firm Kaspersky issued a statement on Monday saying that comments claiming that Apple had asked the firm for security help were taken out of context. It would appear, however, that Kaspersky overstated the situation, and that Nikolay Grebennikov, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, misspoke, and that the clarification is really a correction.

Oops

The original line that got all the attention was, “Mac OS is really vulnerable, and Apple recently invited us to improve its security,” as reported by Computing News.

As stated, it was a big deal—Apple has a long and proud track record of being just as secretive about security as it is about everything else. The idea that Apple was turning to a third party security firm to improve security in its operating systems would have represented a sea change in strategy.

It turns out that this wasn’t really the case. In a long statement given to Engadget, Kaspersky Labs said that Apple, “did not invite or solicit Kaspersky Lab’s assistance in analyzing the Mac OS X [sic] platform.”

The company insisted, however that, “Apple is open to collaborating with us regarding new Mac OS X vulnerabilities and malware that we identify during our analysis.”

To that end, Computer News updated its report with this note:

Grebennikov originally stated that Apple had invited Kaspersky Lab to work with the company on improving its security, but has since issued a clarification. The company has now said that its analysis of OS X was “conducted independently” but that “Apple is open to collaborating with [Kaspersky] regarding new OS X vulnerabilities.”

In other words, Kaspersky’s analysis of OS X is independent, but the company believes that Apple might work with it depending on what it finds. Whether or not it does so remains to be seen.

The full statement from Kaspersky:

On Monday, April 14, computing.co.uk published an article titled “Apple OS ‘really vulnerable’ claims Kaspersky Lab CTO” that includes an inaccurate quote regarding Apple and Kaspersky Lab. The article reports that Kaspersky Lab had “begun the process of analyzing the Mac OS platform at Apple’s request” to identify vulnerabilities. This statement was taken out of context by the magazine – Apple did not invite or solicit Kaspersky Lab’s assistance in analyzing the Mac OS X platform. Kaspersky Lab has contacted computing.co.uk to correct its article.

Please refer to the statement below from Nikolay Grebennikov, Chief Technology Officer, Kaspersky Lab, which clarifies this misrepresentation:

“As Mac OS X market share continues to increase, we expect cyber-criminals to continue to develop new types of malware and attack methods. In order to meet these new threats, Kaspersky Lab has been conducting an in-depth analysis of Mac OS X vulnerabilities and new forms of malware.

This security analysis of Mac OS X was conducted independently of Apple; however, Apple is open to collaborating with us regarding new Mac OS X vulnerabilities and malware that we identify during our analysis. Kaspersky Lab is committed to providing the highest level of security for all of our customers, including Mac OS X, and we will continue to enhance our technologies in order to meet the ever-changing threat landscape.”

[Via The Loop]

Image made with help from Shutterstock.

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5 Comments Leave Your Own

Lee Dronick

Great graphic Bryan!

Bryan Chaffin

Danke, Herr Dronick.

The Skeptic

Bryan,

I was wondering why it took you a while to update the story.  Now I can see that you were busy creating a great visual for the story!

Kaspersky keeps promoting the idea that OS X and iOS are vulnerable, but fails to spell out exactly how they are vulnerable. 

Apple was too slow with Java updates for many years, and this bit OS X hard in April. 

To fix this - future Java updates will come directly from Oracle (reducing the window of opportunity to create malware), and OS X automatically disables Java on Macs if it is not used (reducing the number of Macs that can be infected).

Apple has then gone on the front foot, and is now making sure that Flash Player is updated to the latest (less insecure release).

They have done both of these steps for OS X 10.5 through to 10.7 - which means that every Mac made since 2002 can be secured to a reasonable level.

BurmaYank

IMHO, your best graphic so far! (or at least unsurpassed by any previous ones, including your Stephenson’s clown masterpiece)

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

According to The Mac Observer, Apple asked Kapersky for help, not Kaspersky. This might explain the confusion.

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