President Vladimir Putin.
REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
British spies are reportedly apprehensive that Russia is
utilizing safety software program distributed by Kaspersky to spy on
The UK financial institution has given Kaspersky’s software program away for
free to its on-line banking clients since 2008.
Barclays is reportedly trying to drop the
Kaspersky deal for “commercial reasons” however mentioned it had by no means
been suggested by GCHQ towards utilizing the agency’s
Kaspersky’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, has dismissed
the report as a hearsay.
The accusations come after the US Department of
Homeland Security banned all Kaspersky merchandise from authorities
The UK’s intelligence service is reportedly apprehensive that Russia
could also be utilizing Kaspersky safety software program to spy on Barclays
clients, in accordance with a Whitehall official
talking anonymously to The Financial Times.
Barclays has supplied safety software program from Kaspersky software program as
a free perk to its on-line banking clients since 2008. At the
time, Barclays had at the least 2 million
on-line banking clients. A spokesman for the financial institution informed
Business Insider that it estimated solely 200,000 had downloaded
Kaspersky’s software program.
According to the nameless official, the UK’s intelligence company
GCHQ fears that Russia might be utilizing the software program to spy on
clients, who would probably embody authorities employees and
members of the army.
Kaspersky is a Russian agency and its billionaire founder, Eugene
Kaspersky, was educated at a
technical facility sponsored by Russia’s safety company at
the time, the FSB.
Eugene Kaspersky denied the report on Twitter.
“This story is predicated on rumours from unnamed sources, somewhat than
particular info that we are able to handle,” he informed a CNN reporter.
According to The Financial Times, Barclays is searching for to finish its
industrial badociation with Kaspersky — however a spokesman mentioned this
was for industrial causes. The financial institution mentioned it had by no means obtained
recommendation from GCHQ’s industrial arm, the NSCS, to cease utilizing
A spokesman mentioned: “We have by no means obtained any recommendation or steering
from GCHQ or the National Cyber Security Centre in relation to
The NSCS additionally mentioned it had by no means banned the usage of Kaspersky
A spokesman informed the newspaper: “The NCSC has by no means suggested
Barclays towards the usage of Kaspersky merchandise. Any suggestion to
the opposite is categorically unfaithful. The NCSC is just not a regulator
and doesn’t mandate or ban any merchandise. Our certification
schemes don’t at the moment cowl anti-virus or anti-malware
Adam Maskatiya, basic supervisor within the UK and Ireland for
Kaspersky, added: “Kaspersky Lab continues to work with Barclays
to offer its clients with web safety. Barclays,
by way of its international attain, has executed a lot to enhance public
consciousness of cybersecurity threats and we stay up for
persevering with our relationship to badist hold its clients protected
There’s nonetheless no official UK authorities line on Kaspersky
As but, there isn’t any official British line on Kaspersky and its
rumoured hyperlinks to the Russian authorities.
But the feedback from the nameless Whitehall supply observe
months of controversy for the agency within the US.
The Department of Homeland Security banned Kaspersky
merchandise from US authorities departments in September. At the
time, it mentioned: “The threat that the Russian authorities, whether or not
performing by itself or in collaboration with Kaspersky, might
capitalize on entry offered by Kaspersky merchandise to compromise
federal info and knowledge programs instantly implicates
US nationwide safety.”
In October, the corporate
acknowledged its software program situated secret recordsdata on a personal US
pc and despatched them to Moscow for evaluation. The recordsdata
turned out to comprise surveillance instruments developed by America’s
intelligence company the NSA.
Kaspersky at present once more denied inappropriate ties to any
A spokesman mentioned: “Kaspersky Lab badists legislation enforcement businesses
world wide with cyberthreats, together with these in Russia, by
offering cybersecurity experience on malware and cyberattacks.
When aiding in official authorities cybercrime investigations,
the corporate solely offers technical experience all through the
investigation to badist the organisation catch cybercriminals.
“Kaspersky Lab has all the time acknowledged that it offers
applicable services to governments world wide
to guard these organizations from cyberthreats, nevertheless it doesn’t
have unethical ties or disreputable affiliations with any
authorities, together with Russia.”