Kaspersky Lab’s 400 million users worldwide can’t be happy about recent news linking the company’s antivirus products to spying. The Russian government reportedly used the Moscow-based company’s software to steal sensitive information from American intelligence agents.

The incidents remind us that the security products we trust to protect our PCs have more or less full access. “Every cloud-based anti-virus has the potential and the ability to delete files, to modify files,” said Jake Williams, Founder and President of Rendition Infosec. “They have the ability to launch new processes as well as terminate existing processes.”

It’s bad if someone hacks your computer. If someone hacks your computer and uses your own antivirus software to take over, that’s a disaster. “Looking at all of this together,” Williams concluded, “It becomes clear that if whoever’s running your anti-virus doesn’t have your best interests at heart they can definitely do some damage.”

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