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By | John Leyden 9th July 2007 17:47

Dodgy anti-virus update bunfight goes to court

Kaspersky sues indignant Chinese 'victim'

Chinese anti-virus firm Rising Tech has hit back at claims by larger Russian rival Kaspersky that it engaged in anti-competitive practices. In response to a 2 July lawsuit, Rising Tech says that Kaspersky made "six serious mistakes" involving anti-virus definition files over the last two weeks, Interfax reports.

The intervention marks the latest salvo in an increasingly acrimonious dispute between the two firms. The row kicked off back in May when Kaspersky issued an anti-virus update that misidentified Rising Tech software as potentially malicious.

Over-sensitivity in the automatic detection of viruses (or heuristics) leading to false alarms about virus infection is something of an Achilles Hell for anti-virus scanners, which by their nature need frequent updating. Kaspersky quickly corrected the issue which, in truth, affected few people. Users had to have both Kaspersky and Rising Technology installed to get hit, Australia-based security consultancy Sunnet Beskerming notes.

It's perhaps understandable that Rising Tech took the misidentification of its products as something of a slight on its good name. Rather than handing its grievances over to one of its more diplomatic staffers, however, Rising seems to have dug up a relic from the Sino-Soviet split.

Accusations that Kaspersky had made 22 mistakes in the last six months and showed contempt for Chinese users generated a legal complaint from Kaspersky, filed at Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People's Court. Rising Tech is maintaining its rhetoric even in the face of this legal threat, as shown by its latest pronouncements, which could make for an interesting hearing if and when the case goes to court.

In the meantime, the Chinese Internet Security Response Team have compiled a time line of the dispute here. ®

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