Despite repeated vigorous denials, it seems anti-virus company Kaspersky is unable to convince anyone that matters that they are not in league with the Russian government.
Reuters report s that UK’s National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin sent a memo to other government departments warning them that as Russia is “a highly capable cyber threat actor which uses cyber as a tool of statecraft,” that has the intent to target the UK and its critical infrastructure, computers with info that could harm national security shouldn’t use an anti-virus software developed by a Russian company.
In July Kaspersky was similarly been removed from the US governments approved vendors list after concerns were raised that the software provided by the vendor could allow the Kremlin access to the US government’s secure computer systems. Best Buy also removed their software from their shelves.
The company has been accused of facilitating the stealing of classified data from US and Israel, though Kaspersky claimed the vulnerabilities used were simply a natural feature of software development.
Kaspersky has fought back against the allegations by in October offering to allow 3rd party checkers to review its source code.
Kaspersky has denied that their product carries any such risk, saying “Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage efforts”.
In response to the guidance, Barclays Bank said it has stopped offering Kaspersky anti-virus products to customers.
“Even though this new guidance isn’t directed at members of the public, we have taken the decision to withdraw the offer of Kaspersky software from our customer website,” it said in a statement.
The UK Cyber Security Centre is not shutting out Kaspersky altogether and is currently working with Kaspersky to develop a framework that it can independently verify and use to prevent Russia from getting its hands on UK’s secrets.