When it comes to getting the job done, no one can question Kaspersky antivirus ability to keeping your computer from virus, malware, and perhaps ransomware attack. However, who will protect you from Kaspersky itself?
There has been a long-standing accusation that the antivirus is in bed with government heads from Kremlin and they use are using it for State espionage. The U.S. government has perhaps been the most vocal critic of the Kaspersky antivirus. The U.S. went as far as issuing a directive to all government agencies and contractors to stop using the antivirus, out of fears of possible espionage and cyber-perpetrated sabotage.
In recent months, Kaspersky has on a damage control drive after (the most recent) highly publicized allegation emerged accusing the antivirus of helping the government of Russia steal classified information from the U.S. and Israel.
Now the U.K. government joins the list of governments accusing Kaspersky of espionage at the behest of Kremlin. In what is another major blow of consumer’s confidence in Kaspersky, the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center chief Ciaran Martin, wrote a letter to other government departments warning them of “a highly capable cyber threat actor which uses cyber as a tool of statecraft.”
Martin says the ‘highly capable cyber threat actor’ has the intentions of targeting U.K.’s critical infrastructure. Therefore all computers within government departments with critical information that could potentially be used to compromise national security should not have Kaspersky antivirus install in any of them.
Martin is also quick to point out that the U.K. government is not writing off Kaspersky antivirus for use in government department computers. Instead, the government is actively engaging with Kaspersky to come up with a way to independently allay the fears the antivirus is conducting espionage for Kremlin.
It might be important to point out that back in October, at the height of the accusation it stole sensitive data from U.S. and Israel, Kaspersky invited 3rd party security experts to review its source code. The antivirus further said it “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 September, Best Buy pulled Kaspersky antivirus off its shelves. Barclays Bank now stopped giving Kaspersky antivirus products to its customers. In a statement, Barclays Bank said, “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.”