Hi-Tech

Ban on Russian anti-virus software in government

Ban on Russian anti-virus software in government

The warning comes after Russian Federation was accused of interfering in the 2016 USA election and there were also suggestions it may have tried to do the same in the Brexit referendum.

He branded Russian Federation a "highly capable cyber threat actor" which uses cyberspace for "espionage, disruption and influence operations" in a letter to Whitehall chiefs signed off by MI5.

The NCSC is in talks with Kaspersky Lab, which is the largest Russian tech firm in the United Kingdom, in order to establish checks that would prevent United Kingdom data being leaked.

Kaspersky has denied any wrongdoing and has said it has no secret collaboration with Russian security agencies.

In November Prime Minister Theresa May used a speech to directly address Russia President Vladimir Putin and tell him the West is aware of cyber interference.

In a letter to to heads of government ministries, NCSC CEO, Ciaran Martin said that organizations "need to be vigilant to the risk that an [antivirus] product under the control of a hostile actor could extract sensitive data from that network, or indeed cause damage to the network itself".




"This includes espionage, disruption and influence operations".

The letter added that the National Cyber Security Centre is "in discussions with Kaspersky Lab ... about whether we can develop a framework that we and others can independently verify, which would give the Government assurance about the security of their involvement in the wider United Kingdom market".

But Mr Martin did add the main threat to the United Kingdom was likely to come from cyber criminals rather than the Russian state. "As stated in the company's Global Transparency Initiative announcement, Kaspersky Lab continues to partner with its stakeholders globally, including governments, as part of its ongoing commitment to protect customers from cyber threats". "There are no facts about that".

Jeremy Clarkson Let me get this right - you can only say extremist stuff if you are Corbyn?

"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", it said in a statement.

"There's nearly no installed base of Kaspersky AV in central government", he said.


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