Microsoft Accord after Kaspersky AV Suit

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 02:08 PM gHale


Microsoft blinked.

Whether it was to avoid a lengthy antitrust investigation or whether it was to keep moving the security industry forward, last week the software giant said they will now work more closely with its antivirus (AV) competitors, and partners.

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Microsoft agreed to make “updates to our AV partner requirements today that reflect the interests of the community and our shared customers. We will also implement changes in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update,” Rob Lefferts, partner director at Microsoft Enterprise and Security said in a blog post.

These changes cover the complaints made by Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab said in early June it filed anti-trust complaints against Microsoft with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, after filing suit in late 2016 with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of the Russian security firm, said at the time Microsoft turned to unfair tactics to force users to stick with Windows Defender, the default antivirus in Windows 10.

Kaspersky accused the Redmond-based company of removing third-party antivirus when upgrading to Windows 10, using its dominant position to promote its own security product.

“Microsoft’s antivirus is hardwired into all versions of Windows 10 for home users: it’s impossible to turn it off completely, impossible to delete. Until recently no one asked you if you needed it or not. There was a time when, even if you used a different security solution, Microsoft’s own AV all the same periodically ran scans,” Kaspersky said.

Microsoft said it will work more closely with third-parties over compatibility reviews; will increase “the amount of time AV partners will have to review final builds before the next Windows 10 feature update is rolled out to customers;” will allow the third-parties to display their own renewal notices; and will modify how users are told their antivirus application has expired.

“We appreciate the feedback and continued dialogue with our partners and are pleased to have found common ground with Kaspersky Lab on the complaints raised in Russia and Europe,” Lefferts said. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the industry.”

In the world of cybersecurity, partnerships are of much importance,” said Andrei Mochola, vice president of consumer products at Kaspersky Lab in a post. “Cybersecurity companies partner among themselves to share data and help each other build stronger security solutions that can better protect their users. They also partner with law enforcement agencies to fight cybercrime. Partnerships with software developers are equally important, because security solutions have to work smoothly with other software, especially with operating systems.”



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