Russian media is reporting that the son of Natalya and Eugene Kaspersky, founders of the security software firm Kaspersky Lab, has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom.
An unconfirmed report on local media Life News said that Ivan Kaspersky, 20, was being hunted by police after going missing two days ago. The web site says the kidnappers are demanding a ransom of €3m for his safe return.
"He never came to work that day," Life News quotes a source as saying. "The last time we saw him was on 19 April, and we do not know anything else."
The company told V3.co.uk that it had no information on the matter, and Eugene Kaspersky appeared relaxed as he met journalists at the InfoSecurity trade show in London yesterday. However, he has not been seen since, although friends have pointed out that a media blackout is not uncommon in kidnapping cases.
In recent years kidnapping for ransom has become depressingly common for industry leaders in Russia. Two years ago the son of a vice president of Russian petroleum firm Rosneft was kidnapped, in an operation apparently organised by corrupt police officers, and many other cases have been reported.
Natalya and Eugene Kaspersky set up Kaspersky Labs in 1997 and have built it into Russia's most well-known software company. Although the couple divorced many years ago, they made a successful business partnership, Eugene running the technical side and Natalya ensuring the business grew.
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