BSI warns against the use of Kaspersky software

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has issued an official warning against the use of antivirus software from the Russian manufacturer Kaspersky. Reason: This software could be used for a Russian cyber attack. […]

The BSI, the highest federal authority for IT security in Germany, has officially warned against the use of Kaspersky products in accordance with Section 7 of the BSI Act. The office recommends replacing the antiviruses of the Russian manufacturer with alternative products. In a press release, the BSI points out that antivirus programs in particular have particularly far-reaching access rights to the IT systems on which they are installed. Therefore, it is important that the manufacturer of the software can be trusted. This is no longer the case for a company headquartered in Russia.

“Risk of an IT attack”

Literally, the press release states: “The actions of military and / or intelligence forces in Russia, as well as the threats made by the Russian side against the EU, NATO and the Federal Republic of Germany in the course of the current military conflict, are associated with a significant risk of a successful IT attack. A Russian IT manufacturer can carry out offensive operations himself, be forced against his will to attack target systems, or be spied on himself as a victim of a cyber operation without his knowledge, or be misused as a tool for attacks against his own customers.“

Such a move by the BSI had already been expected for days. Critics complained that the BSI had not acted on Kaspersky in view of a possible Russian cyber attack in connection with the Ukraine war.

Do not act rashly

The BSI recommends carefully planning the exchange of Kaspersky software for other products. An unprepared shutdown of the virus scanner could endanger the security of the IT environment. Companies that need advice can get advice from the BSI.

So far, there has been no response from the German branch of Kaspersky Labs in Ingolstadt. Neither the press department nor the management have yet responded to the editorial team’s inquiries.

Kaspersky’s reaction

In the meantime, Kaspersky Labs has published a statement on the warning of the BSI by e-mail. In it, press secretary Anne Mickler points out that Kaspersky is a privately held company that has no connection to the Russian or other governments. The entire data processing infrastructure for data from Germany was relocated to Switzerland in 2018.

The statement reads: “We believe that this decision is not based on the technical evaluation of Kaspersky products – for which we have repeatedly advocated at BSI and throughout Europe – but rather was made for political reasons. We assure our partners and customers of the quality and integrity of our products and will work with the BSI to clarify the decision and address the concerns of the BSI or other regulatory authorities.“

* Frank Kemper writes for com! professional.

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