Kaspersky's son released, reports say

Son of security firm's founder was reportedly abducted for ransom this week

The allegedly kidnapped son of Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Moscow-based antivirus software vendor Kaspersky Labs, has been freed by his captors in Russia, according to unconfirmed news media reports.

The stories, including one on the BetaNews website, are based on a report by Lifenews, a Russian language newspaper that was also the first to report on 20-year-old Ivan Kaspersky's alleged kidnapping earlier this week.

Kaspersky Labs has neither confirmed nor denied the reports about the alleged kidnapping and release its founder's son. When asked about the media reports coming out of Russia, a spokesman for the vendor's U.S. operations said on Thursday that the company had no information to share about the incident.

Today, a brief statement released by Kaspersky Labs in Russia "respectfully" asked the news media to stop speculating about the "alleged events related to the Kaspersky family."

"Eugene Kaspersky continues his day-to-day work at the company, and has stated that the unconfirmed information being spread at the moment is harmful for the company," the statement said.

According to Lifenews, which quoted unnamed sources, Kaspersky's son was abducted on his way to work by kidnappers who then demanded a ransom equivalent to more than $4 million. The newspaper today claimed that a ransom had been paid to secure his release. None of this information could be independently verified by Computerworld.

Kaspersky Labs, claims to have more than 300 million customers worldwide -- mostly individual consumers -- that use its antivirus software.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His email address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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