Moscow-based antivirus software maker Kaspersky has responded to the German Federal Office for Information Security’s (BSI) recent recommendation to use alternative products following the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The tech company said the warning was based on “political motives” and not determined on technical assessments of its cybersecurity tools.
Kaspersky countered the BSI warning in a official statement on Tuesday, insisting to its partners and customers in Germany that it is a private cybersecurity company operating in different parts of the world. The company added that as a private company it had no connection with the Russian government.
“We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts,” Kaspersky said. “War is not good for anyone.” The company added that it intends to work with BSI to seek clarification and address its concerns.
The company’s statement comes shortly after the BSI officially recommended that German companies and agencies using tools developed by Kaspersky use alternative software products for cybersecurity. “The actions of military and/or intelligence forces in Russia and the threats posed by Russia against the EU, NATO and the Federal Republic of Germany during the current armed conflict are associated with a considerable risk of attack successful computing,” he added. BSI’s press release reads (via machine translation).
Germany’s federal IT security agency has warned that a Russian IT company such as Kaspersky could launch operations on its own or be forced by the Russian government to “attack”. The BSI also noted that the operations of Russia-based tech companies could be placed under surveillance without its knowledge or used against its customers.
Kaspersky also pointed out that it had moved its data processing facilities to Switzerland from 2018. The company added that “malicious and suspicious files voluntarily shared” by its customers in Germany are processed in two data centers located in Zürich. Other statistics shared from computers and networks using Kaspersky products are processed in facilities around the world, including Canada and Germany, the company said.
Despite BSI’s warning, the agency does not ban Kaspersky’s products in Germany. But it encourages German companies and organizations to conduct their own assessments or consult with BSI-certified IT security service providers.