United Kingdom cyber agency targets Kaspersky in warning on Russian software

In the new government guidance, Ian Levy, NCSC's technical director, said: "Given we assess the Russians do cyber-attacks against the United Kingdom for reasons of state, we believe some United Kingdom government and critical national systems are at increased risk".

After outlining the way A-V software works and pointing out that it needed administrative access to a system in order to do its job, Martin said: "That's why the country of origin matters".

The Associated Press reports that Ciaran Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre, sent a letter to British civil servant chiefs on Friday announcing the new policy.

"Kaspersky Lab fully agrees that supply chain risk management is critical to information security, and therefore, we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the NCSC to develop a framework that can independently verify and provide assurance of the integrity of Kaspersky Lab's products and services".

Kaspersky has strongly denied allegations about the safety of its products or ties to the Russian government, saying it has become a scapegoat in the midst of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.

The UK government reportedly warned its departments of a cybersecurity threat coming from the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

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The agency's technical director, Ian Levy, said he saw "no compelling case at present to extend that advice to wider public sector, more general enterprises, or individuals".

Officials stress they are not recommending members of the public or companies stop using Kaspersky software.

"Whatever you do, don't panic", Levy said.

Israeli intelligence officials spying on hackers linked to the Russian government found that one of their target's favorite tools was Kaspersky Lab's antivirus software, which is used by 400 million people around the world.

In September, the USA government barred agencies from using Kaspersky products after expressing concern that the company could have links to the Russian government or Russian spy agencies.

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May warned the Russian state was acting against the UK's national interest in cyberspace.

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