The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – the UK government’s largest spy agency – has expressed concern about Russian anti-virus software Kaspersky handed out to millions of British users, weeks after a similar warning by American intelligence officials.
The spymasters at GCHQ claim that the famous security software has been exploited by Russia’s FSB intelligence organization and might be used to spy on certain users, including those who work for the UK military.
The concerns hiked after reports emerged that the major British financial firm Barclays had decided to end a years-long arrangement with Kaspersky.
The company has offered nearly two million free licenses of Kaspersky’s software to users of its online banking services since 2008. There is no evidence that the users’ data has been compromised. Barclays and GCHQ told British media that they have never discussed the issue.
It was the US Department of Homeland Security that first leveled the allegations against Kaspersky in September, banning all US agencies from using it. US bans Russian cybersecurity software. The United States federal agencies are not allowed to use software made by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, the US Department of Homeland Security says.
In a biding directive, US Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke gave federal agencies three months to begin the process of removing the software from their networks, citing an effort to maintain “national security.”—Agencies