Germany Issues Hacking Warning to Kaspersky Users; Cybersecurity Firm Responds | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

Germany’s cybersecurity agency, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), recently warned Kaspersky antivirus users on possible hacking attacks.

The agency mentioned that the antivirus software poses a “serious risk” to people’s cybersecurity.

Details on the Warning

The BSI’s warning mentioned that Kaspersky Lab is based in Moscow. As such, it could be coerced by Russian government agents to hack foreign IT systems or use its technology to launch cyberattacks without its knowledge.

“The actions of military and/or intelligence forces in Russia and the threats made by Russia against the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Federal Republic of Germany in the course of the current military conflict are associated with a considerable risk of a successful IT attack,” the BSI warned.

The BSI also mentioned that all users of Kaspersky’s antivirus are at risk of being hacked by Russian intelligence agents, adding that companies, “authorities with special security interests,” and operators of critical infrastructure are particularly at risk.

Read More: Russia Has Two Months Left Before It Runs Out of Data Storage

The agency then advised companies and other organizations to replace Kaspersky antivirus with alternative products and to carefully plan and implement the replacement of essential components of their IT security infrastructure.

It also advised regular Kaspersky users to use another antivirus other than Kaspersky to protect their data, even though they may be the least targeted.

The BSI emphasized that it is not banning Kaspersky in Germany, although some countries and states have gone ahead and outright banned the use of the product.

“The warning from the BSI is only intended to raise awareness of possible dangers,” the BSI said in its FAQ.

Kaspersky’s Reaction to the Warning

It goes without saying that Kaspersky is not pleased with the BSI’s warning to the public.

According to a Euronews report, Kaspersky said in a statement that it believes Germany’s warning is not based on a technical assessment of its products but instead is being made on political grounds.

The statement was provided to Euronews by Kaspersky’s European communications head, Stefan Rojacher.

The company then said that it is a private global cybersecurity company, and as such, it does not have any ties to the Russian or any other government. It then made a reminder that its data processing infrastructure was based in Switzerland since 2018, and that the information from its German users was processed in two data centers in Zurich.

Similar Past Accusations

Germany’s warning against using Kaspersky’s products is the latest of many similar accusations. In 2018, lawmakers in the EU have voted to ban computer equipment and security software from Kaspersky, due to allegations that it is vulnerable to the Russian government’s oversight, per Defense News.

The vote ended a partnership between the company and the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol.

It was also at this time that the U.S. banned the use or installation of Kaspersky products across its federal government.

Kaspersky also addressed these allegations by reasoning out that if it is indeed controlled by Russian intelligence, then Russia wouldn’t have allowed it to publish research on advanced persistent threats tied to Russian intelligence.

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