Kaspersky Lab wins in court for defamation

On May 28, 2018, Kaspersky Lab filed a lawsuit in the Netherlands for defamation against the daily De Telegraaf, its editor-in-chief and two journalists, as well as former Dutch politician Willem Vermeenda. This was a final action on the part of Kaspersky Lab, which was taken after using all other methods to clarify the matter directly with the journal and individual persons involved. On July 16, 2018, the Dutch court confirmed that Kaspersky Lab was right and that the journal will have to publish a complete and appropriate correction.

The inevitable legal actions were the result of an article published by De Telegraaf on February 3, 2018, in which the daily reported that Rian van Rijbroek, an expert in cyber security, reported breaking into the world-renowned IT security company in Utrecht, the Netherlands during Christmas Eve in 2017. Media quickly interpreted that this company is Kaspersky Lab. Rian van Rijbroek denied ever giving anyone such information, and the internal investigation carried out by Kaspersky Lab also did not confirm any break-ins. Despite this information, none of the parties - De Telegraaf journal, journalist involved, and Will Vermeend, who was presented by De Telegraaf as the main source of information (originally anonymous) - did not take steps to withdraw false allegations against Kaspersky Lab.

De Telegraaf is the largest Dutch daily, and therefore the publication of false allegations has caused significant damage to the reputation of Kaspersky Lab. In the case of a leading cybersecurity company, any suggestions - even unsupported by any evidence - that its own systems have been broken may be very disturbing for customers and partners. This was reason enough for Kaspersky Lab to demand a judicial clarification of the case and the publication by De Telegraaf of a clear correction withdrawing false accusations.

The case was commented in detail on the blog of Evgeny Kasperski, CEO of Kaspersky Lab.

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