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Security Software Businesses The Almighty Buck

Best Buy Stops Selling Kaspersky Security Software (startribune.com) 132

swschrad writes: Call it a stampede, call it a business decision, but Best Buy has pulled Kaspersky internet security software from its shelves and website. Some in the U.S. government suspect Russian ties make it a suspicious product. Since all major security companies have links with each other and with government security agencies, sharing threat evidence to find counters, Kaspersky's defense seems valid. But if you want it, be prepared to buy it off their own website. Best Buy will give Kaspersky software purchasers 45 days to exchange it for free for another product if they want. Additionally, customers can also uninstall it themselves or have a Geek Squad agent do it for free within that time window.
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Best Buy Stops Selling Kaspersky Security Software

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  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @07:57PM (#55162293) Homepage
    Today Walmart pulled all bottles of Russian dressing from their shelves.
  • So what happened to the free market? Does Best Buy have a good reason for thinking they know better than their customers? What's next? Linux gets a ban in the US?
    • Re:Free Market? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @08:14PM (#55162361) Journal
      Free market doesn't mean a store has to sell your product.
      • No, but this ain't my product. Just one I'm interested in purchasing. Is there no market for Kaspersky in the USA? Am I a rare customer?
        • No, but this ain't my product. Just one I'm interested in purchasing.

          So go to their website and order it. There's lots of places you can still buy Kaspersky products, though why you'd want to I cannot imagine. It's basically been malware for years now.

        • Well, gee Sherlock, did you consider that maybe the problems with it are real and that once they know about the risk it creates for you they might become responsible? It doesn't matter that you want to buy it, they're responsible if they sell a harmful product after they know it is harmful. You might want to hand them a few dollars today, and next year your lawyer might be asking them for a few million.

          • Well, I'm more inclined to assume, that no, there beef against a software product is not legit. I'm suspicious of all anti-Russian claims from anybody in yhe U.S. Working in I.T. I tend to view a disproportionate number of people as idiots.
      • Free market doesn't mean a store has to sell your product.

        You need to rearrange those words: A free market means a store doesn't have to sell your product.

      • Unless, of course, the customer belongs to a specific social group, and your business refuses to serve them.

        If Kapersky came out of the closet there would be cries to make it mandatory on all PC's... Or if every purchase involved a $10 donation to the DNC... then it would be golden!
    • Does Best Buy have a good reason for thinking they know better than their customers?

      Absolutely. Does Best Buy have everything in a store that Amazon has? Of course not - they are constantly choosing what to sell and what not to sell, and that has to do with several factors.

      I happen to think Best Buy makes poor decisions along those lines, so I'm not one of their customers.

      That's how the free market works.

         

    • Linux has generally already been "banned" in this same way all along. Please, try to keep up.

      • Not quite. My family bought an off the shelf retail box of Mandrake Linux 7, an RPM distro running Gnome 1.x, and KDE 2.x. I suspect Red Hat is likely still available in some retail locations. Not muchc of a market for Linux I suspect. Open Source doesn't point to a returning customer, especially now with the package repositories.
    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Does Best Buy have a good reason for thinking they know better than their customers?

      Isn't that how they have always operated?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 08, 2017 @08:09PM (#55162345)

    If you rely on ANY antivirus software then you have already lost. I'm surprised people even still run that shit. Has it even been shown that AV software does anything whatsoever? I've never seen one detect an infection. Usually I'm cleaning off infections from multiple sources that the AV completely failed to detect.

    Generally all AV software does is load your system down making it slower and less responsive while not actually protecting you from anything other than exploits from 10 years ago and often not even them.

    • I haven't gotten an infection in years. I use NoScript in Firefox, and generally stick to trusted websites these days. I still wouldn't run a modern internet connected operating system without an AntiVirus. The lack of an antivirus on iOS is a concern.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The lack of an antivirus on iOS is a concern.

        In what way exactly? A concern that iOS is not burdened with snake oil bloatware?

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      AV software is quite useful when you copy a cart full of floppies, and don't want something wonderful to happen..

      • AV software is quite useful when you copy a cart full of floppies

        How many people do you think regularly copy a cartful of floppies?

        • AV software is quite useful when you copy a cart full of floppies

          How many people do you think regularly copy a cartful of floppies?

          To be fair, it's probably a lot more people than those copying a cart full of stone tablets :)

          Strat

          • I wouldn't be so sure about this.

            Consider: There might be someone sitting right now in a museum making a copy of an old Babylonian stone tablet to preserve it. But when was the last time you've seen someone even touch a floppy?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A business owner I know gets tons of infected emails which Kaspersky detects (invoices, docs for your attention etc), probably because their email address is on the website. On balance, less savvy users need something more than MS Security Essentials.

    • This works as long as you only have computer savvy users that do not have to deal with potentially infected files on a daily base.

      I do not want to see the HR department that runs without antivirus.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @08:13PM (#55162355)

    or, rather, a full blown scam.

    the exploits that the US SPOOKS want to keep, they keep and they tell the antivir companies NOT to report on.

    that makes all of them - 100% of them - completely untrustworthy. afterall, if their virus check lets to so-called good guys' malware thru, what if you don't think the good guys ARE good guys? and today, a lot of us don't think our own good guys are all that, well, 'good'.

    how much could the russians fuck me over? personally - me? not very much. chinese? not very much. US? a whole fucking lot!

    I have more to fear from my own so-called good guys than I ever will have to worry about from the foreign 'bad guys'.

    this black and white view has to stop. people need to learn that there are many grey levels and giving 100% trust to anyone is a mistake, in today's world.

    since the whole antivir space is highly political, I choose not to buy any of their products. if my system gets fucked, I'll reinstall. but then again, I rarely use windows anymore and almost never do I do anything on a public network with windows.

    its sad that the US vendors are buying this BS story about one antivir company being 'good' and the other being 'bad'. then again, I bet the decision is made for them, if you get my drift. yet another reason our good guys aren't quite so good anymore.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by stonedown ( 44508 ) *

      The idea that Russian or Chinese hackers couldn't hurt you personally is ludicrous on its face.

      I used Kaspersky many years ago, but would strongly recommend against it now. There is too much risk that the Russian government, which is basically a massive criminal enterprise, has its fingers in that pie.

      I am OK with Best Buy making this call. If you want to go to the website and order directly from Kaspersky, more power to you.

      • Is it really that bad? I just figure that nothing has changed, other than the propaganda.
        • It's really that bad.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2015/0... [nytimes.com]

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Nytimes? That's your *counterpoint*? To *other than propaganda*?

          • Okay then. Kaspersky is off my list of recommended anti-virus applications. Guess that doesn't leave anything at the retail level. I've taken AVG off that list since they've switched to this "AI" which wiped out several 32-bit Windows 7 PCs, on top of their PC optimization nonsense. Never recommend Avast nor McAfee. Avast had a convoluted email registration system, got tired of having to install it for clients. If they implement that "feature" into Avast's AVG, that would be one less reason to use it.
      • by Zemran ( 3101 )
        And if you use any other anti virus it is an absolute certainty that the US government, which is a bigger criminal enterprise, has its fingers in that pie.
      • Well, think about it. Let's assume TEH ROOSHINS are completely behind Kapersky. Do you really have anything to lose if TEH ROOSHINS get your infoz? How much harm can it cause, really?

        Now, use any one of the other A/V software backdoored by the US government. Which is more likely to harm you, TEH ROOSHINS or the government right where you live, one that has been repeatedly proven to spy on you for no particular reason?

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        There is too much risk that the Russian government, which is basically a massive criminal enterprise, has its fingers in that pie.

        Swiftboating + McCarthyism = American Exceptionalism. It's not Russia that has spent the last 15 years bombing the better part of a dozen countries for bullshit reasons, overthrown two democracies, and executed three disastrous regime change operations that have gotten a couple million people killed and millions more made into refugees.

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          No, just Russia that invaded and annexed half of another country, breaking the promises it made when that nation voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons.

          I wouldn't fucking trust Russia to do anything that doesn't directly benefit Putin and his paymasters.

          • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

            No, just Russia that invaded and annexed half of another country, breaking the promises it made when that nation voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons.

            Russia hasn't invaded shit, your braindead tool. Years of pictures posted to social media from your literal neo-Nazi pals in Ukraine, but not a single photo from a U.S. satellite or drone showing Russian troops in Ukraine or invading Crimea. The latter of which had an existing agreement for a Russian naval base - does the U.S. Army "invade" Germany wheneve

            • by Cederic ( 9623 )

              Holy shit, are you following me around Slashdot and posting utter fucking idiocy in response to everything I comment on?

              Russia hasn't invaded shit, your braindead tool. Years of pictures posted to social media from your literal neo-Nazi pals in Ukraine, but not a single photo from a U.S. satellite or drone showing Russian troops in Ukraine or invading Crimea.

              Ok, how about an entirely fucking biased source: https://www.rt.com/news/crimea... [rt.com]

              the latter of which had an existing agreement for a Russian naval base - does the U.S. Army "invade" Germany whenever troops are sent to one of the existing bases there?

              Remind me, when did the US take over communications and Government buildings in Germany and annex the country? Nobody was complaining about Russia having a military presence in the country, when it was there by invitation and treaty. It's the subsequent illegal invasion that's the problem.

              voted overwhelmingly to joint Russia

              What, in the illega

            • Previt Tovarich Pridorik You will get extra potato in your soup tonight for your loyal service. spakee nokee!
      • Then tell me what interest the Russian government has in my computer. If I was a citizen of Russia, I sure as hell would avoid it like the plague, but then again, as a US citizen I'd avoid any and all AV software based in the US as well.

    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      How do virus scanner companies prevent their employees from selling government zero days for tens of thousands of dollars? Where is the easily discovered whitelist of government malware hidden in AV products? Couldn't someone easily use this list to find the hashes of currently unknown covert software? As you increase the number of companies in on this conspiracy, it gets harder and harder to keep it wrapped up.

      Don't forget these companies are tracking nation state actors and writing up reports on their m

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Well clearly the AV isn't going to contain a whitelist of known government backdoors...
        AV works on a blacklist approach of known malware, the government tools simply wouldn't be included in the blacklist, which is also far more deniable.

        And yes while they do track nation state actors, they are tracking foreign ones, not their own governments.

    • You have the right conclusion—there is a scam going on—but the wrong cause.

      Programs aren't trustworthy or untrustworthy because of who wrote them. They're trustworthy or not trustworthy because they respect a user's software freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify. Computers don't evaluate the nationality of the people who entered the source code or developed the algorithms, computers execute the instructions they're instructed to execute. The catch is whether those instructions are available

      • For many uses, proprietary software offers more robust support. To be quite honest, I've rarely ever inspected the code of an open source application. It would take time to figure out what each segment of code is even for, and then time to familiarize myself with the code to evendetect if something was unnecessary or suspect. I'd then need to evaluate that code further, to understand how it actually affects the application. Open Source is incredible to learn with, but even Open Source was vulnerable to it
        • by jbn-o ( 555068 )

          You express the case for "Open Source" quite well, and that's where your entire post misses the points I raised and offers no response to them. Open source claims to support much the same thing as free software but you've inadvertantly put your finger right on where they differ, where it matters most: respect for software freedom. Open source was designed to throw away software freedom in a bid to speak to business interests (most notably software proprietors) and offer the reactionary right-wing response i

          • Proprietary software support is not a monopoly. Upgrades and bug fixes at the extreme end of the support spectrum are, but general day to day use is far from a monopoly. No, I'm not contributing to the Samba group. I don't get paid much, and most of my money has to go to bills, current or future (upkeep). Besides, where does the Samba group make a commitment to the more business useful functions of Active Directory, such as GPOs, centralized user permissions management, and Certificate management, in addit
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I will admit back when it looked like we might see a hot civil war in Ukraine, and some in the US were seemingly licking their chops for it. I changed AntiViruses about that time. I have not switched back.

    • the exploits that the US SPOOKS want to keep, they keep and they tell the antivir companies NOT to report on.

      That doesn't make sense. Exploits and malware are two separate things. Antivirus software does not plug attack vectors in the underlying OS - that's the job of the company that produces the OS. Antivirus finds and removes malware, regardless of, and unconcerned with, how that malware got onto the system.

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      Well not just antivirus vendors, but pretty much all vendors are in bed with their respective governments...

      Of course by shining the light on kaspersky, the us government is shooting themselves in the foot very badly. The us exports far more tech products than the russians do, so by pointing out that russian vendors are in bed with the government they are shining the light on the fact that us based vendors will also be in bed with the government.
      And of course it's not the russian government that's suffered

    • That's not how it works. It's not a conspiracy between governments and security companies. The government mostly buys exclusive access to vulnerabilities through open markets, and sellers who want to do repeat business keep their discoveries secret.

      Computer security companies don't aid in keeping these secret -- they don't know about them in the first place. Security companies only look for existing threats in the wild, they don't try to find vulns on their own. Even if they did, there's no guarantee they'

  • Best Buy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrKevvy ( 85565 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @08:39PM (#55162481)

    ... is this the same Best Buy who is best buds with the FBI and whose "Geek Squad" warrantlessly scans every hard drive they touch looking for kiddie porn, warez, etc. and gets paid commission for what they find?

    I strongly doubt they have their customer's security interests in mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why does america hate capitalism?

  • By not selling Kaspersky I feel [cnet.com] much [cnbc.com] better [nytimes.com] now [slashdot.org]!

  • ... file a criminal slander/libel lawsuit against the US government?

    At that point, the only way the government can come out of it clean is to either reveal the basis for their conclusions (which to the best of my knowledge, they do not want to do), or else go on the record as stating that it is in their opinion only.

    If Kapersky wins the lawsuit, then the US government could be compelled to officially retract all relevant libelous statements, and may (?) even create a precedent for Kapersky to be able t

  • Do people still actually buy software at the store in a box as opposed to downloading it?

    How retro.

  • Anything linked to Russians must be evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows China track record of cyber espionage is far more extensive than that of Russia. Remember how we lost those F35 blueprints.

    So guess we are going to boycott Apple too?

    By the way Apple really deserves a boycott for withholding a 250 US$ from taxation by keeping their profit outside the US exploiting internal transfer pricing between its companies.

  • Software is still sold in boxes on shelves? Like actually? Does it come with a CD / DVD? That leads me to a follow up questions: Do people still have working CD/DVD drives in their computers?

    • Interestingly I did this with Kaspersky this year, a 4 PC box from an online retailer was half the price of 3 PC licenses bought on the Kaspersky store. Did come with a CD, but I just punched the key into the already-installed software.

  • What is this Best Buy and why is it considered a story when they sell or don't sell something?

    Is there really someone left who buys software offline?

  • Streisand effect at its fullest potential. God, this is far better effect than the solar eclipse a few weeks back.
  • I will hand my computer directly to the Russian Mafia before I let a Geek Squadder anywhere near it.

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