Kaspersky Lab hit by anti-virus software source code leak

The Softpedia news wire asserts that the source code dates back to late 2007/early 2008 and has been written in C++ and Delphi.

The news wire notes that the source codes covers the anti-virus engine, as well as the anti-phishing, anti-dialer, anti-spam, parental control, and other IT security modules.

"We don't know yet to what version of Kaspersky's security suite the sources actually correspond to, but 8.0 is the most likely candidate at this point", says the news wire.

"We have contacted the company at several different email addresses to ask for clarifications regarding this major intellectual property theft incident, but we have yet to receive a response", it adds.

In a statement provided to Infosecurity, Kaspersky acknowledged the 2008 theft of the source code for its “older range of products” and assured that the code now available on some underground forums “cannot harm users of [our] products, solutions or services in any way”.

“The stolen code represents a very small part of the modern product source code, and is not related to protection functionality”, Kaspersky said in its statement. “It also contains fragments of an obsolete version of the Kaspersky anti-virus engine, which has been radically redesigned and updated since the source code was stolen.”

Infosecurity notes that rumors surrounding the source code on Kaspersky AV being for sale were circulating in the spring of 2009 and, as Lucian Constantin says in his story, it has been suggested that the hackers responsible originally put the code up for sale.

The CNews news wire in Russia, meanwhile, says that code leak stems from a Kaspersky employee who stolen the source code in the early part of 2008.

The company confirmed that the ex-employee was detained and charged by a Moscow criminal court for connection to the theft and received a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence. Kaspersky also said it continues to work closely with law enforcement on this matter.

Despite reports that the source code is outdated, Infosecurity notes that developers from competing IT security companies have expressed great interest in the files.

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