German government warns against using Russian anti-virus software Kaspersky

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Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky responded on Tuesday to an advisory issued by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) against the use of the company’s security solutions in the country due to “doubts about the reliability of the manufacturer”.

Calling that the decision was made for “political reasons”, the company mentioned it “will continue to assure our partners and customers of the quality and integrity of our products, and we will work with the BSI to clarify its decision and find ways to address its concerns and those of other regulators”.

Kaspersky’s statement follows a warning from the German cybersecurity authority, the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik aka BSI, which recommended “replacing applications from Kaspersky’s antivirus software portfolio with alternative products” due to the risks that they could be exploited by Russia for a cyber attack.

“Companies and authorities with special security interests and operators of critical infrastructure are particularly at risk,” the BSI said. mentionedadding that the company’s tools could be used for attacks against its own customers or be forced to strike systems against its will amid Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

While not an outright ban, the announcement comes in addition to similar restrictions put in place by United States, UKand Dutch governments in 2017 and 2018 to phase out the use of anti-virus software manufactured by Kaspersky Labs.

The Moscow-based company, however, noted that it had shifted its cyber-threat business Informatique infrastructure to the Swiss city of Zurich in 2018 and that its data services and engineering practices have been subject to independent third-party assessments.

Earlier this month, Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the eponymous company, struck a neutral tone, hoping that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia would lead to “a compromise”, in a bid to steer the organization away from to be considered on the side of Russia.

“We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument to resolve conflicts”, Kaspersky tweeted on March 1. “War is not good for anyone.”

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