UK cyber agency targets Kaspersky in warning on Russian software

The headquarters of the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 2, 2017.

Sergei Savostyanov | TASS | Getty Images

The headquarters of the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 2, 2017.

Britain’s main cyber security agency on Friday warned British government agencies to avoid using anti-virus software via Russian companies, the latest in a series of moves targeting Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab.

In a letter to departmental permanent secretaries, the director of the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, said Russian-made anti-virus software should not be used in systems containing information that will would certainly harm national security if the idea was accessed by the Russian government.

He said his agency is usually in talks with Kaspersky Lab to develop a system for reviewing its products for use in Britain.

Kaspersky’s anti-virus software was banned via U.S. government networks earlier that will year on concerns the company has close ties to intelligence agencies in Moscow as well as that will its software could be used to enable Russian spying.

“We are in discussions with Kaspersky Lab … about whether we can develop a framework that will we as well as others can independently verify,” Martin said within the letter, which was publicly released.
Kaspersky Lab said in a statement that will the idea looked forward to working with the NCSC on the issue.

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

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