Office Depot, Best Buy Pull Kaspersky Products From Shelves

Given the announcement by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee of Kaspersky’s potential involvement with Russian intelligence, this move and moves like were inevitable.  Kaspersky’s time in the U.S. market is largely over.  I do not believe, whether true or not, they can overcome this stigma.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/office-depot-best-buy-pull-kaspersky-products-from-shelves/

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Russia Passes Bill Banning Tor, VPNs

I am not a Libertarian.  I am not a proponent of an absolute freedom of speech.  I believe that certain forms of censorship are necessary to keep the peace and maintain the rule of law and the function of society.  The current situation in Russia and the laws being passed are not this type of censorship.  Many would refer to these laws as a veiled attempt to suppress opposition to government power.  They would be wrong.  There is nothing being veiled.  This is a blatant, obvious attack against the people of Russia in the name of absolute government rule.

We should all be offended.  We should be appalled.  We should defend against these laws with all our might.  Evil can and will spread and no one and no nation is immune.

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/russia-passes-bill-banning-tor-vpns/

Officials fear Russia could try to target US through popular software firm under FBI scrutiny

This is a curious development, though one is forced to wonder if this is a credible threat or simply a general concern that finds itself elevated in the public eye because it became part of a classified memo.  Kaspersky Labs is not a government owned entity, but its back channel ties to Russian Government officials is unclear.  Lenovo has faced similar criticism in the past, but unlike Kaspersky, and to the best of my knowledge, it is funded and partially owned and managed by the government of the People’s Republic of China.

This is certainly an interesting twist on the “Buy American” craze of my early childhood.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/officials-fear-russia-target-us-popular-software-firm/story?id=47295729

Claims that Russia hacked the US election and power grid are ‘overblown’

Setting aside the allegations of Russian hacking attempts surrounding the election, these latest claims involving the Vermont power grid are a bit of a stretch.  As this article states,  Grizzly Steppe is a fairly common malware variant and could have been leveraged by any number of entities.  It frankly could have landed on the laptop in question accidentally through a completely separate exploit path.  Malware, once in the wild, can rarely be tied to any specific organization or nation state.  Once it has proven its worth, any number of bad actors will begin to use it.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/01/03/claims-that-russia-hacked-the-us-election-and-power-grid-are-overblown/

White House Announces Retaliatory Measures For Russian Election Hacking

Retribution…Proportional response…these are simple phrases intended to calm the masses and justify actions.  Many times these phrases are both necessary and warranted.  In today’s case, my fears are fueled by the nature of diplomatic “one-upsmanship” that can take place in this scenario.  Russia does not view the score as now even.  Round two and three and four are coming.  Be prepared!