Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), an agency based in Germany which is in charge of managing computer and communication security of its government, has warned organisations against usage of anti-virus software by Kaspersky Lab due to constant threats made by Russia against the EU, NATO, and Germany. Furthermore, BSI has also recommended replacing applications from the Moscow-based firm’s portfolio with alternative products as the Russian virus protection software could be exploited for cyber-espionage.
Kaspersky Lab is a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider and is believed to have some close links with its government. As a result, BSI is of the view that the actions of the military and/or intelligence forces in Russia and the threats made by Russia in the course of the current military conflict against Ukraine are associated with a ‘considerable risk of a successful IT attack’.
“A Russian IT manufacturer can carry out offensive operations itself, be forced to attack target systems against its will, or be spied on without its knowledge as a victim of a cyber operation, or be misused as a tool for attacks against its customers,” BSI said in a statement, adding, “All users of antivirus software can be affected by such operations. Companies and authorities with special security interests and operators of critical infrastructures are particularly at risk. You have the option of obtaining advice from the BSI or the responsible authorities for the protection of the constitution.”
The BSI has cautioned companies and other organisations about carefully planning and implementing the replacement of essential components of their IT security infrastructure. The agency is also of the view that one might be vulnerable to attacks from the Internet if IT security products and in particular virus protection software was to be switched off without preparation.
“Switching to other products is associated with temporary losses in comfort, functionality and safety. The BSI recommends carrying out an individual assessment and consideration of the current situation and, if necessary, consulting IT security service providers certified by the BSI,” the statement further added.
Meanwhile, Kaspersky’s founder and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, recently took to Twitter stating, “We welcome the start of negotiations to resolve the current situation in Ukraine and hope that they will lead to a cessation of hostilities and a compromise. We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War isn’t good for anyone.”