German cybersecurity watchdog BSI calls on the German public to stop using Kaspersky’s antivirus software. According to BSI, the software puts Germany at risk of Russian cyberattacks.

BSI claims that Kaspersky Antivirus is suited for carrying out large-scale cyberattacks. BSI fears that Russian authorities can pressure Kaspersky to create backdoors for state-sponsored and independent cybercriminals.

Ban in US and Netherlands

Germany isn’t the only Kaspersky-fearing country. Since 2017, US government agencies have been banned from using the software. A year later, The Netherlands imposed a similar ban. Although there’s little evidence of Kaspersky’s alleged threat, most bans hold up to date.

Update: official statement from Kaspersky

We believe this decision is not based on a technical assessment of Kaspersky products – that we continuously advocated for with the BSI and across Europe – but instead is being made on political grounds. We will continue to assure our partners and customers in the quality and integrity of our products, and we will be working with the BSI for clarification on its decision and for the means to address its and other regulators’ concerns.

At Kaspersky, we believe that transparency and the continued implementation of concrete measures to demonstrate our enduring commitment to integrity and trustworthiness to our customers is paramount. Kaspersky is a private global cybersecurity company and, as a private company, does not have any ties to the Russian or any other government.

We believe that peaceful dialogue is the only possible instrument for resolving conflicts. War isn’t good for anyone.

Our data processing infrastructure was relocated to Switzerland in 2018: since then, malicious and suspicious files voluntarily shared by users of Kaspersky products in Germany are processed in two data centers in Zurich that provide world-class facilities, in compliance with industry standards, to ensure the highest levels of security. Beyond our cyberthreat-related data processing facilities in Switzerland, statistics provided by users to Kaspersky can be processed on the Kaspersky Security Network’s services located in various countries around the world, including Canada and Germany. The security and integrity of our data services and engineering practices have been confirmed by independent third-party assessments: through the SOC 2 Audit conducted by a ‘Big Four’ auditor, and through the ISO 27001 certification and recent re-certification by TÜV Austria.

Kaspersky has set the industry benchmark for digital trust and transparency. Our customers can run a free technical and comprehensive review of our solutions, allowing them to:

  • Review our secure software development documentation including threat analysis, secure review, and application security testing processes
  • Review the source code of our leading solutions including Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS), our flagship consumer product; Kaspersky Endpoint Security (KES), our flagship enterprise product; and Kaspersky Security Center (KSC), a control console for our enterprise products
  • Review all versions of our builds and AV-database updates, as well as the types of information which Kaspersky products send to our cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network (KSN)
  • Rebuild the source code to make sure it corresponds to publicly available modules
  • Review the results of an external audit of the company’s engineering practices conducted by one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms;
  • Review the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) for Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS), Kaspersky Endpoint Security (KES), and Kaspersky Security Center (KSC)