Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses EU Microsoft Security Windows

Kaspersky Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft Over Disabling Its Antivirus Software (bloomberg.com) 134

Russian security software maker Kaspersky Lab has filed antitrust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German federal cartel office, it said in a statement on Tuesday. From a report: Kaspersky sent a formal complaint to European Union and German antitrust regulators, saying "hurdles" created by Microsoft limit consumer choice and drive up the cost of security software. "With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft started to create obstacles to competing manufacturers of security solutions, and introduce different ways of pushing users to forgo third-party software in favor of its own Windows Defender," Moscow-based Kaspersky said in a statement. In a statement, Eugene Kaspersky said, "We see clearly -- and are ready to prove -- that Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own -- inferior -- security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users' previously self-chosen security solution. Such promotion is conducted using questionable methods, and we want to bring these methods to the attention of the anti-competition authorities."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Kaspersky Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft Over Disabling Its Antivirus Software

Comments Filter:
  • Microsoft has created a monopoly by almost literally forcing (decades ago) OEMs to pre-infect their hardware with Windows OS. If Microsoft can have a monopoly on systems infected with malware, then why can't it have a monopoly on the cure? It must be one of the rules of acquisition. Sell them the problem, and then sell them the cure for it. Why should others be able to profit selling the solution to a problem Microsoft created? If the solution is "too" effective, then malware may disappear -- which wou
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except Kaspersky is Russian, and according to our Glorious People's Democratic Party here in the USA, Russians are evil hackers trying to ruin us.

      • Yeah.
        Russian company (Kaspersky), produces product (KAV) that removes non-russian malware (e.g.: WannaCry's NSA ancestor), but perhaps spies on the users, on behalf of Russian organisation (FSB, ex-KGB).
        American compagny (Microsoft), produces product (Security Essentials), that removes non-american malware, but very probably spies (Windows 10's cluster fuck of telemetry) on the users, on behalf of American organisation (NSA - see Snowden files).

        And you could very likely be able to say the same about chinese

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You're full of shit. Neither product targets malware of any specific origin. I've seen both take out malware from any country.

        • Except that FSB has inherited only a part of the former KGB duties, hence nowadays it is basically the same as FBI, but with additional border and coast guard duties. Espionage is the responsibility of SVR.

    • The geek never learns this lesson: The OEM system install is essential for mass market sales --- and being "forced" to purchase an OEM license for Windows 95 wasn't a problem for HP or pragmatists like Michael Dell.
      • The AC told you how it is and what he wrote is on the mark.

        As for MS packaging tools within their OS, it's about providing a complete solution. MS is packaging an Anti-Virus to protect it's users and the image of its OS. Anti-virus isn't optional software in today's ecosystem, it's a necessity for most users.

        Based on your reasoning, MS should NEVER have included Notepad, Calc, any image viewing tools, no file explorer, no zip support, no browser, no built-in drivers, no... the list goes on. Any other produc

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Almost literally forcing => gave very good volume discount. For larger manufacturers it could be cheaper to ship Windows on a computer than not, some shipped machines installed with Windows even when another OS was to be installed later as they got a better profit. Some say the discounts were too aggressive as even selling a few computers without Windows drastically increased the prices. In combination with Windows being the preferred OS for most customers that made it very hard for manufacturers to both

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure this topic combining both politics and anti-virus will be filled with insightful commentary and free from any prejudices or biased opinions. Thanks slashdot editors.

    • You forgot to add Microsoft in the mix.
      Anti-Virus software in order to work, needs to be rather invasive to the system it is running on. So the OS Maker doesn't want to have anyone making an "Anti-Virus" program to be installed with that level of rights. As we have a mountain of scams coming from the disguise of anti-virus and security software.

      Now Kaspersky could be making a solid and safe product... However their country of origin has been a bad player in the world community, so there is also general fe

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine the lawsuits if Microsoft decided to make a secure OS!

    • Where can I subscribe to your newsletter?
    • In comparison with what other OS?

      Compared to Linux? Because there are no hacks against Linux? And because the malware protection software for Linux is so damn good you can't even find it to know whether it's working or not unless you actually like digging through /var/logs?

      Compared to Mac OS X that yesterday asked me for my administrator password 14 times so that I could give absolute access to all kinds of programs without reading what program was asking or what access it was asking for? And let's not forg
  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:58AM (#54559921) Homepage

    I'm not expecting any different outcome in the long run.

    • Netscape was offering a cross platform system that would eventually result in a new platform for developers to target instead of the Windows Desktop. It could be - and was - reasonably argued that Netscape was a threat to Microsoft competitively. Microsoft themselves saw Netscape as this, and felt the only way to retain their market was to control the development of the web, by squashing Netscape. This they did by providing their own, slightly incompatible, browser.

      In the case of anti-virus companies, Mi

      • Netscape was just one small example of MSes anti-competitive business practices. Microsoft saw NetNanny, Cybersitter, and other internet control projects as a threat (some due to bad press). So they built in their own inferior system, and put the majority of those out of business. Microsoft wanted total control of Office Applications, gave away enough "Word" to put competitors out of business. Novell was basically put out of business by MS giving "free" licensing (scaling limits) with NT3 and NT4 for a f

        • No argument that Microsoft was particularly obnoxious (understatement) during the 1990s, but the major anti-competitive behavior lawsuit focused on Netscape. I believe Novell would have also had a decent case, given it could reasonably be argued that a neutral third party domain control system was a prerequisite to ensuring a network of both Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems was consistently managed.

          But AV? There really are no competition issues. If Microsoft intends to sell Windows Defender in the fut

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )
            Your own logic (only if it competes with the OS) would also insist, despite actual history, that MS had no reason to strong arm Correll, WordPerfect, Bordland, Cybersitter, NetNanny, and countless other companies out of business. They did, and they do because that is how you maintain a monopoly. Remove any competition, including those that crop up to attack persistent problems with your base product.
            • Your own logic (only if it competes with the OS)

              That is not... my logic. I said nothing about only the OS

              would also insist, despite actual history, that MS had no reason to strong arm Correll, WordPerfect, Bordland, Cybersitter, NetNanny, and countless other companies out of business

              Nope, I never addressed those except indirectly.

              They did, and they do because that is how you maintain a monopoly. Remove any competition, including those that crop up to attack persistent problems with your base product.

        • See what MS did to Bordland for compiler space as well.

          gcc got a lot more popular at the same time that Borland was getting less popular, so it might not be realistic to blame MS.

          I doubt I'm the only person who made that switch.

          • A successful anti-trust case demonstrates you are wrong to blame gcc. This is in addition to actual history which shows gcc has never been heavily used on Windows systems. The case was decided long after Borland was killed off, as was true with Correl and WordPerfect. MS has been found guilty of antitrust violations more than any company in history, even those that are 3-4 times older than MS.
            • Or, it demonstrates that MS was guilty of using unfair tactics. It isn't at all clear that it was successful against Borland.

              Obviously, WordPerfect and Netscape Navigator were harmed. They were also a lot more exposed.

              In the case of Borland, they (and others) were possibly out-competing them anyways. Universities were using the MS toolchain already outside of *nix. Borland required knowing about lots of silly #pragma statements to get things done that MS had gui options for. Even their fans weren't very str

              • by s.petry ( 762400 )

                Or, it demonstrates that MS was guilty of using unfair tactics. It isn't at all clear that it was successful against Borland.

                So you are claiming that the court that found MS guilty was wrong in the case for Bordland, but in the other cases was correct? Or perhaps you are ignoring facts and creating fantasy...

                • No.

                  I am saying that MS was found to have harmed Netscape and others really bad using unfair practices, and to have engaged in unfair practices against Borland with less certain results. Clearly they were guilty of trying, and some say they succeeded. Others say they were kicking a corpse.

                  Almost everybody agrees that MS should not have been kicking Borland, regardless of if it was assault or abuse of a corpse.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:59AM (#54559943)

    Oh, Microsoft, is there anything you can't fuck up? Is there any line you won't cross in pursuit of profits and customer lock-in? Is there not a single engineer, programmer, or executive in your organization with an intact pair of balls who will pause, and think, "Wait, we shouldn't do this..."?

    No? Okay, just checking.

  • Say It Ain't So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:01AM (#54559973)
    Microsoft has been an upstanding corporate citizen since settling the US antitrust case and increasing its lobbying budget from zero dollars to millions of dollars each year.
  • Car analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:20AM (#54560151)
    That company makes cars easily stolen because the lock is weak. Thus a number of 3rd party shops sell locks that improve the car security. Then the car maker decides to fix the locks and the 3rd party accessory is not necessary anymore - who is to blame? Seriously, these anti-viruses have always been Windows parasites that only flourished thanks to Microsoft unable to implement a decent security solution earlier.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DickBreath ( 207180 )
      Not quite the right analogy. The car company does not fix the locks. They make their own accessory like the 3rd party accessories to fix the locks. Then they sell that accessory. Then they try to stop the 3rd party shops from selling 3rd party accessories that fix the locks. Maybe at some point the car manufacturer includes the accessory with the car, but still does not actually fix the locks.
      • Re:Car analogy (Score:5, Informative)

        by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:39AM (#54560337)

        Not quite the right analogy. The car company does not fix the locks. They make their own accessory like the 3rd party accessories to fix the locks. Then they sell that accessory.

        Microsoft does not sell Windows Defender as a separate product, it comes with Windows at no cost.

        • I, for one, support Microsoft.

          Chrome and Firefox shouldn't run at all on Windows 10. After all, Windows 10 already comes with Edge.

        • > Microsoft does not sell Windows Defender as a separate product, it comes with Windows at no cost.

          Did you see where I wrote: Maybe at some point the car manufacturer includes the accessory with the car, but still does not actually fix the locks.

          But that sounds exactly like not selling Windows Defender as a separate product and including it when you acquire: "Windows at no cost".

          But this would be in keeping with the monopolist mindset. If we can't make money selling Windows Defender, then nob
        • Kind of what they did with Internet Explorer. History repeats itself.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        Its more like car locks aren't effective so third parties start selling anti-theft devices. Car manufacturers begin to integrate anti-theft devices in their cars and its not as easy for third parties to sell their shit.
      • You're wrong in two ways.

        As the other responder pointed out, Windows Defender is part of Windows and is not a separate product, and does not cost extra. It's a free part of the OS, just like the calculator or Solitaire or the disk defragmenter.

        Secondly, your analogy is stupid. A better car analogy is car alarms. 20+ years ago, if you wanted to try protecting your car from theft, you could buy various 3rd-party accessories such as "The Club", or an alarm system. These days, cars actually come from the fa

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      these anti-viruses have always been Windows parasites that only flourished thanks to Microsoft unable to implement a decent security solution earlier.

      Why does that make them "parasites"? If somebody plugs a hole created by slothful oligopolies/monopolies, more power to them!

      By that definition, many of us in IT are "parasites" because our jobs possibly wouldn't exist if Microsoft made decent stuff. I guestimate that if we had rational standards and sufficient OS/network competition, at least half of IT job

    • Particularly because Windows is very happy to work with other security solutions. If you install a 3rd party AV or firewall it is no big deal. That software can turn off Windows' included solutions and then once installed, Windows will happily report that the new stuff is acting as your security solution. MS does not insist on you using their product, they just include it as an option.

    • Microsoft benefits greatly from having a healthy ecosystem of 3rd party companies developing on their platform. It is not their goal to crush these. In fact, Norton's awesome applications were a big part of Window's early success. (Note, this is different from the web browser where having control of the default home page is a valuable advertising surface.) Microsoft isn't trying to sell anti-virus software. It is included free with Windows. The only reason they started developing anti-virus software is bec
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Give us access to the low level stuff/make the system more insecure so we can sell our product!

  • Kaspersky sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eril ( 759876 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:27AM (#54560237)

    Microsoft sucks, too...and they're deserving of the hate they get, but Kaspersky may suck worse. I lost all respect for them as an "antivirus" application when one of my clients couldn't use Git because of it. Kaspersky identified Git (using SourceTree as a client) as malware, and kind of fucked up her file system, requiring her to do a system restore. After that, the client pretty much refused to use SourceTree, because she was convinced that it was a virus. Fuck Kaspersky...go Microsoft.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      I could give you horror stories about other anti-malware vendors also. It's possible they all suck in part because Windows is a mess, and they have to use duck-wire and chicken-tape to patch/fix/use something that is also duck-wire and chicken-tape: Windows. (Word swapperoo intentional)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:28AM (#54560245)

    Seriously, I work in the IT industry, many of us ban all traffic from Russia and several Asian states by default. This means that Kapersky has the unfortunate side effect even though being cheaper unable to automatically update because it's on russian soil thus for us IT folks we've started to Migrate to other software that does auto update without fail and has local servers. If Kapersky would setup sub update servers on each state and tie their software to the country, with the correct DNS ties in the software the update process wouldn't be that difficult to maintain.

    • While that's not a terrible idea (many sites I see get 99% of their spam from Brazil, countries near India, and China.)

      That really wouldn't stop a simple VPN at all...

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "This means that Kapersky has the unfortunate side effect even though being cheaper unable to automatically update because it's on russian soil thus for us IT folks we've started to Migrate to other software that does auto update without fail and has local servers"

      You must be really fucking new to the IT industry if you don't have a VPN tunnel dedicated specifically for remote updates.

    • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:08PM (#54561149)

      They don't do this because Kapersky is one of the ways Russian GRU intelligence is using to exploit and spy on everyone. I have not doubt in my mind it's backdoored to high hell because one of the lead founders was recently arrested for spying and it was noted he was a ranking member of the Russian Intelligence services. This would be like Norton being owned by the NSA. Given that I don't know how anyone can trust Kapersky not to be littered with backdoors and Russian intelligence extra's.

      Just an an FYI, Kapersky anti-virus is banned from use on US government computers for this reason just as several Chinese made switches are banned because the company executives are high ranking PRC Army intelligence.

      You might not like Microsoft but their executives aren't ranking spies in the NSA or other spy agencies.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      While some companies might do that, I really doubt Microsoft is doing country-level blocks in Win10 as quite a lot of people would notice that. Where the server is located is no excuse for Microsoft to screw up the update process, it's just the same clients have experienced that their privacy and default application settings were "mysteriously" reset to the default.

  • by orient ( 535927 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:38AM (#54560325)
    ... given that Windows Defender is a re-branding of Reliable AntiVirus, whose architect (Costin Raiu) Kaspersky hired from GeCAD before GeCAD sold RAV to Microsoft?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since it became possible, I have enabled regular Defender checks in the side of the third-party antivirus. For a long time every anti-virus software update disabled the parallel check without any notification.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't see (hardly any) anti virus applications out there for iOS as I assume the Virus interception is handled by the OS. If Windows Defender comes free with the OS, couldn't the argument be made that Microsoft is acting the same as Apple is with iOS? Seriously, Apple has bundled all sorts of crap in their OS for decades (or it may be hidden beneath the covers) but no one seems to have much of an issue with it. I say "so what" to Kaspersky. If your product is so much more valuable your customers will know

  • Kaspersky could argue, "By creating an OS that limits the ability of malware to infest and proliferate a large section of users who would have otherwise chosen an anti-virus solution Linux and its originator are inhibiting the ability of Kaspersky to seek fair return on their investment in anti-virus technology".
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kernel Patch Protection is a mechanism used by Windows which aims to protect the integrity of certain Windows modules and structures in memory. An example of these is the System Service Dispatch / Descriptor Table (SSDT) which is essentially a table of Windows kernel function pointers and which is infamous for being used by malware, rootkits and a DRM system by Sony to intercept Windows kernel functions. It is also used by many anti-virus software and some drivers and this is again infamous for causing stab

    • This is the answer as antivirus can no longer run at same level as kernel. Even windows defender can't run with those high privileges.
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @12:08PM (#54560589)
    switch to Linux and you wont need an anti-virus software. sheesh!!! just how shitty does the MS-Windows environment have to get before it runs itself out of business
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      switch to Linux and you wont need an anti-virus software.

      Android has security problems also. Some claim it's "not Linux's fault", but that only means device vendors can find ways to F up anything.

    • Wasn't there a zero day for Linux... THIS MONTH? Granted, only works on older versions but many people still run those.

      It was cool as shit too. The NES music format support in the gstreamer library runs a full 6502 CPU to play the music, so they hacked it.

    • You probably don't need antivirus on Windows, either. In many cases, it's been demonstrably worse [techtarget.com] than nothing at all.
    • switch to Linux

      The geek has been dancing to this tune since 1995 but the only Linux client distribution to win significant popular acceptance is Android --- arguably the least secure of all mass market oriented operating systems. T

    • just how shitty does the MS-Windows environment have to get

      Given how the environment is leaps and bounds above where it was in the days of XP with most anti-virus being worse than the virus itself, I'd say we have a long way to go.

      A core part of the OS sitting out of the way doing anti-virus in ways that doesn't fuck up the entire system? There's never been a better time to be a windows user (telemetry and windows updates not withstanding).

      If you're trying talk about the environment getting shittier to convince people to change, you're using a very wrong marketing

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

Working...