UK Warns Government Agencies To Avoid Kaspersky Products, Citing Russian Ties

UK Warns Government Agencies To Avoid Kaspersky Products, Citing Russian Ties

Earlier in the day, it was revealed that the UK National Cyber Security Centre - the country's authority on cyber security and part of GCHQ - is writing to all government departments telling them Russian security software could be exploited by Moscow.

Theresa May said last month that Russian Federation was attempting to "weaponise information" and threaten the global order.

Cyber security concerns intensified after Theresa May accused Putin of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and dividing western democracies with targeted trolling on social media.

"Kaspersky Lab appreciates the collaborative, risk management-based approach taken by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) with regards to identifying and mitigating any potential information security risks involved in the sourcing of IT products".

The NCSC is in talks with Kaspersky Lab, which is the largest Russian tech firm in the United Kingdom, in order to establish checks that would prevent United Kingdom data being leaked.

Dow soars after Senate passes tax reform
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.27-to-1 ratio favored decliners. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., December 4, 2017.

Mr Martin also said Russian hackers may have targeted the United Kingdom energy network, telecoms and the media this year. In a separate letter to government ministry leadership, NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin specifically name-checked "Russian antivirus companies" and wrote that agencies "need to be vigilant to the risk that an [antivirus] product under the control of a hostile actor could extract sensitive data from that network, or indeed cause damage to the network itself".

'Russia has the intent to target United Kingdom central Government and the UK's critical national infrastructure, ' he wrote in a letter to Whitehall chiefs agreed with MI5.

"However, the overwhelming majority of United Kingdom individuals and organisations are not being actively targeted by the Russian state, and are far more likely to be targeted by cyber criminals".

"We really don't want people doing things like ripping out Kaspersky software at large, as it makes little sense", he said in a blog. He goes on to note that "there's nearly no installed base of Kaspersky AV in central government", and that beyond that small existing number, "we see no compelling case at present to extend", to the general public.

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