Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

UK Cybersecurity Agency Warns Against Using Kaspersky Software

In the new government guidance, Ian Levy, NCSC's technical director, said: "Given we assess the Russians do cyber-attacks against the United Kingdom for reasons of state, we believe some United Kingdom government and critical national systems are at increased risk". "That's why the country of origin matters".

Ciaran Martin said "for systems processing information classified SECRET and above, a Russia-based provider should never be used", CNN reported.

Kaspersky has strongly denied allegations about the safety of its products or ties to the Russian government, saying it has become a scapegoat in the midst of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.

"As stated in the company's Global Transparency Initiative announcement, Kaspersky Lab continues to partner with its stakeholders globally, including governments, as part of its ongoing commitment to protect customers from cyber threats".

The NCSC is understood to have been in dialogue with Kaspersky Labs and says it will explore ways of mitigating the risks to see if a system can be developed to independently verify the security of its products.

Around 400 million people use Kaspersky products around the world. The NCSC advises that Russian Federation is a highly capable cyber threat actor which uses cyber as a tool of statecraft.

"The company added that it was important to note that the NCSC was not encouraging consumers or businesses against using Kaspersky Lab software from this sentence: ".we see no compelling case at present to extend that advice to wider public sector, more general enterprises, or individuals".

"Whatever you do, don't panic", Levy said.

Kaspersky has faced a series of accusation in the U.S. press in recent months.

Last month, British prime minister Theresa May launched an attack on Russian Federation for its attempts to "threaten the global order", in a speech condemning its alleged electoral interference and campaign of cyber espionage. Kaspersky's anti-virus software was banned from us government networks earlier this year on concerns the company has close ties to intelligence agencies in Moscow and that its software could be used to enable Russian spying.

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