Where is Your Antivirus Software Made?

Many antivirus software companies are based in countries with histories of cyberattacks.–PC Pitstop

Where is Your Antivirus Software Made?

by Bob Rankin

Is Your AntiVirus Made in China?

The new anti-virus software that I came across is called Tencent PC Manager, even though it doesn’t cost a dime. But I hesitated when I saw that it was made in China. So I did a little digging, to find out where the other popular internet security tools come from. The results of my trip around the world may surprise you…

Bloomberg News recently published an article suggesting that Moscow-based antivirus developer Kaspersky Lab is a tool of Russia’s FSB, the equivalent of the USA’s National Security Agency. As rather weak “evidence,” Bloomberg claims that founder/CEO Eugene Kaspersky shares a public sauna with Russian spies; replaced a top executive with someone who was drafted into the Russian border patrol years ago; and ordered the company’s Japanese distribution partner to destroy retail packaging that used the untruthful slogan, “A Specialist in Cryptography from KGB.” The implication is that you can’t trust Kaspersky security products; they might very well be spying for the Russian government.

Eugene Kaspersky destroyed Bloomberg’s article on his blog, pointing out numerous errors that could have been avoided easily. His implication, serious or not, is that Bloomberg is the NSA’s tool, attacking Kaspersky Lab for its part in exposing NSA-sponsored cyberespionage campaigns.

Other antivirus software is made in countries that are not exactly staunch allies of the USA. Tencent is China’s biggest Internet services and software provider. But when it comes to spying, no country is off-limits to any other country. BitDefender is Romanian. Avast comes from the Czech Republic. Avira and GDATA are made in Germany. AVG is Dutch. Trend Micro is based in Tokyo. Bullguard and Comodo are British. Checkpoint comes from Israel. ESET is Slovakian. Their governments are as likely to spy on friends and foes alike as Russia or China.

If you insist on an American-made antivirus program, there’s PC Matic, which proudly advertises that fact in television commercials. McAfee, Norton, Fortinet, Webroot and Vipre are also based in the USA. Oh, and of course, you have Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender (included in Windows 8). If you want both FREE and made-in-America, Fortinet’s FortiClient and the two Microsoft products mentioned above are the only freebies I know of that meet those criteria.

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