Kaspersky: German intelligence advice is based on political grounds

Russian software developer Kaspersky does not agree with the advice of the German intelligence service BSI to replace Kaspersky Antivirus. According to the company, the decision is “based not on a technical assessment of its products, but on political grounds.”

The BSI advised on Tuesday to replace Kaspersky Antivirus. The intelligence service fears that the longer the war in Ukraine continues, the more the risk of a large-scale cyber attack from Russia increases. “A Russian IT manufacturer could carry out attacks itself, be forced to attack systems against its will, or become the victim of a cyber operation without being aware of it,” the BSI said. The use of Kaspersky’s antivirus software would be extra risky, according to the BSI, because “antivirus software and the associated cloud services have extensive system authorizations.”

Kaspersky responds that it disagrees with the conclusions drawn by the German intelligence service. “We believe that this decision is not based on a technical assessment of Kaspersky products – which we have continuously advocated at the BSI and across Europe – but is instead made on political grounds.”

The developer points out that its data processing infrastructure was moved to Switzerland in 2018. Since then, “harmful and suspicious files voluntarily shared by German users of Kaspersky products have been processed in two data centers in Zurich.” Also, ‘the security and integrity of its data services has been independently assessed by third parties’. For example, the company’s services have only just been re-certified by TÜV Austria, says Kaspersky.

The software developer also says that it wants to enter into discussions with the BSI to clarify its decision. “We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War is not good for anyone.”