Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Twitter Bans Ads From Kaspersky Lab

Twitter Cites DHS Order in Kaspersky Ads Ban

Twitter no longer allows Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to advertise on the platform and the reason appears to be related to the company’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Twitter Cites DHS Order in Kaspersky Ads Ban

Twitter no longer allows Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to advertise on the platform and the reason appears to be related to the company’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky revealed on Friday that Twitter informed his company of the “policy decision” in late January, claiming that “Kaspersky Lab operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter ads business practices.” The security firm was told that it could remain an organic user on the platform.

“One thing I can say for sure is this: we haven’t violated any written – or unwritten – rules, and our business model is quite simply the same template business model that’s used throughout the whole cybersecurity industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them. What specific (or even non-specific) rules, standards and/or business practices we violated are not stated in the letter,” Eugene Kaspersky wrote in an open letter to Twitter management.

While Twitter’s statement to the press did not provide any additional information, the social media giant did cite a controversial DHS Binding Operational Directive (BOD) that bans Kaspersky products in federal agencies due to concerns that the company may be aiding Russia’s espionage efforts. The BOD, issued in September 2017, was reinforced in mid-December when President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018.

In his letter to Twitter, Kaspersky calls for more transparency, and points out that the goal of making everything public is to set a precedent as other platforms may also decide to target his company. Kaspersky says the decision is also a matter of principle and the firm is prepared to fight what he has described as “unjustifiable acts akin to censorship.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Kaspersky said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Kaspersky said it had spent less than $100,000 for advertising on Twitter last year, but the company will no longer do so even if Twitter reverts its decision. The security firm will donate its planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 to the EFF.

Kaspersky Lab has been accused of assisting Moscow’s cyber espionage efforts and, despite no evidence being made public, the U.S. and Lithuanian governments have banned the company’s products and the U.K. advised against their use. Even commercial companies in the United States have decided to stop selling antivirus software from the firm as a result of several media reports describing alleged ties between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence.

In response, Kaspersky has launched a transparency initiative that involves significant bug bounties and giving access to its source code, and it has even taken legal action against the United States government over the decision to ban its products.

Related: Trust Your Security Vendor, ‘They Have Access to Everything You Do,’ Says F-Secure Research Chief

Related: How Antivirus Software Can be the Perfect Spying Tool

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join security experts as they discuss ZTNA’s untapped potential to both reduce cyber risk and empower the business.


Join Microsoft and Finite State for a webinar that will introduce a new strategy for securing the software supply chain.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


WASHINGTON - Cyberattacks are the most serious threat facing the United States, even more so than terrorism, according to American defense experts. Almost half...

CISO Conversations

Joanna Burkey, CISO at HP, and Kevin Cross, CISO at Dell, discuss how the role of a CISO is different for a multinational corporation...

CISO Conversations

In this issue of CISO Conversations we talk to two CISOs about solving the CISO/CIO conflict by combining the roles under one person.

CISO Strategy

Security professionals understand the need for resilience in their company’s security posture, but often fail to build their own psychological resilience to stress.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...