Private and professional users of Kaspersky’s widely installed antivirus software should find an alternative due to the risk of Russian cyber attacks, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) warns.
The German IT authority is warning of a “considerable risk of a successful IT attack” in the context of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Moscow-based cybersecurity company could either itself carry out offensive operations or be forced to attack certain systems against its will, the German authority said on Tuesday.
Russian tech services like Kaspersky could also be spied on without their knowledge or misused as tools for attacks against their own customers, the BSI warned.
The Russia-based multinational is behind one of the world’s most widely used antivirus software suites. Like similar programs from Avast, Norton and Avira, Kaspersky’s software is designed to protect users against trojans, spyware and other cyber threats.
Kaspersky denied its products posed a cybersecurity risk and said the BSI’s decision was not based on a technical evaluation of its products, but made for political reasons.
“Kaspersky is a private global cybersecurity company and, as a private company, does not have any ties to the Russian or any other government.”
The company added that it had also moved its data processing infrastructure to Switzerland.
“We will continue to assure our partners and customers in the quality and integrity of our products, and we will be working with the BSI for clarification on its decision and for the means to address its and other regulators’ concerns.”
Kaspersky added that peaceful dialogue is the only possible tool to resolve conflicts. “War isn’t good for anyone.”