Kaspersky Lab backtracks on statement, clarifies relationship with Apple

By Chris Middleton
14 May 2012 View Comments
Kaspersky's Nikolay Grebennikov

Russian security company Kaspersky Lab, which has a track record of criticising Apple's security standards, has clarified its relationship with Apple and said that the US computing giant is "open to collaboration" with it rather than actively seeking its advice.

In an exclusive interview with Computing on Friday, Kaspersky Lab chief technology officer Nikolay Grebennikov (pictured) criticised aspects of Apple's security strategy and said that the computing giant had, in his word, "invited" his company to work with it to improve security in OS X, which he described as "really vulnerable".

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Questions about the reason for the security relationship were put to Grebennikov repeatedly.

Kaspersky Lab has since issued a clarification of its position: "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."

In his original interview with Computing, Grebennikov said that "Mac OS is really vulnerable", that his company's investigations showed that "Apple doesn't pay enough attention to security".

The outspoken CTO then suggested that Apple was too slow to react to emerging malware threats and vulnerabilities, such as the recent weakness in Java exploited by the Flashback trojan.

Grebennikov said that Oracle had swiftly closed the Java vulnerability but that Apple had not reacted anywhere near as fast.

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