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Vulnerabilities / Threats

4/21/2011
12:26 PM
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Son Of Kaspersky Lab Founder Reportedly Gone Missing

Russian news reports that 20-year-old Ivan Kaspersky was kidnapped and his captors are demanding ransom

[4/22/11 UPDATE: A Russian media outlet this morning is reporting that Ivan Kaspersky has been freed after his captors' ransom demands were met. No official word from Kaspersky Lab yet on this latest development.]

The 20-year-old son of Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky reportedly has gone missing in what may be a kidnapping plot, according to published reports in Europe today.

Russian news outlet Lifenews.ru reported that Ivan Kaspersky had been abducted on April 19, and that his kidnapper's were demanding $4.09 million in ransom. The kidnappers contacted his father Eugene Kaspersky by phone, the report said, demanding the money.

But the elder Kaspersky did not appear to be aware of this as of last night, according to at least two security industry colleagues. Graham Cluley, Sophos, says he spoke with Kaspersky last night: "I spoke to Eugene last night and he was very chirpy," he says. Cluley says he also spoke with someone else who was with Kaspersky later and who knew nothing about the son's alleged disappearance.

And despite published reports that Eugene Kaspersky rushed back to Moscow last night after word of the alleged abduction, Cluley says the the elder Kaspersky had previously been scheduled to return to Moscow last night.

Meanwhile, a BBC report says Kaspersky Lab told a newspaper that it could not confirm the abduction reports. The younger Kaspersky has been missing for at least two days, and secret service and police have been searching for him since he first went missing, reports say.

A Kaspersky Lab spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying the company had no information to share at this time.

According to the Russian news story, Ivan was abducted on his way to work.

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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