Germany’s cyber watchdog advises users to switch from Kaspersky antivirus as Russia-Ukraine tensions simmer

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Germany’s cyber watchdog advises users to switch from Kaspersky antivirus as Russia-Ukraine tensions simmer
Kaspersky antivirus is a popular third-party antivirus solution, with the company headquartered in RussiaKaspersky
  • The German cyber authority has advised users to find alternatives to Kaspersky antivirus “for the time being”.
  • However, the Russia-headquartered Kaspersky has called it a political stunt lacking any technical evidence.
  • The German watchdog states that Kaspersky could be compelled by the Kremlin to yield and allow it to surveil Kaspersky antivirus users across the world.
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Germany’s cyber watchdog, Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has urged users to switch from Kaspersky antivirus as tensions due to the Russia-Ukraine war continue to boil over in other aspects of people’s lives.

Kaspersky is a multi-national cybersecurity company that has long offered its antivirus products to users across the world. The reason it’s in the crosshairs of the German cyber watchdog is because Kaspersky is headquartered in Russia.

Although there is no evidence yet of Kaspersky colluding with the Kremlin to conduct state-sponsored surveillance of its users around the world, the German cyber watchdog thinks that the Putin regime could force Kaspersky’s hand.

“The warlike actions of Russia as well as the threats made against the EU, NATO, and the Federal Republic of Germany harbour a considerable risk of a successful IT attack, which could have far-reaching consequences,” the authority noted on its website.

“It cannot currently be ruled out that the company will be forced against its will to attack systems or pass on confidential data,” it further added.

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On the other hand, Kaspersky called out the BSI for its advice, stating that this is a political stunt.

“We believe this decision is not based on a technical assessment of Kaspersky products – that we continuously advocated for with the BSI and across Europe – but instead is being made on political grounds,” the company said in its statement.

At the moment, the threat of the Kremlin using Kaspersky antivirus to surveil people across Western nations and beyond is theoretical, especially with there being no technical evidence to back it up.

Kaspersky antivirus is amongst the most widely used third-party solutions across the world. It also ranks consistently amongst the top antivirus solutions in terms of its abilities to detect viruses, trojans and other malware. If the company yields to any pressure from the Kremlin, though, it could prove fatal for its future.

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