The French organization responsible for the country’s cyber defense is suggesting that long-term use of Kaspersky Anti-Virus should be considered not because of the risk of a trick from the Russian publisher, but because updates may stop in the context of cross-sanctions.
This is not yet formal advice, but at least a suggestion: given the international situation with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it would be a good idea to consider an alternative to Russian software. Especially for what is probably the most famous of them all: Kaspersky Anti-Virus.
This reflection was formulated on March 2, 2022 by the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi), an organization whose role is to support the state and operators, which are vital in the field of cyber defense. Thus, it acts as a shield against electronic threats, and when a fire actually occurs, as a “cyber firefighter”.
” In the current environment, the use of some digital tools, in particular the tools of Kaspersky Lab, may be questioned due to their connection with Russia. ” emphasizes the agency, which, however, softens its message: yes, ” at this stage “,” no objective element [justifiant] develop an assessment of the quality level of the products and services provided. »
Risk ? No more updates from Kaspersky
While you might think that Anssi is primarily motivating cyber risk in his memo, it turns out that it’s actually about a different risk: stopping software updates. West – In response, Moscow may order further restrictions on engagement with the West.
” Russia’s isolation in the international arena […] may affect the ability of these companies to update their products and services and therefore keep them up to date to protect their customers. Therefore, in the medium term, it is necessary to consider a strategy for diversifying cybersecurity solutions. “, – adds the agency.
In other words, the Kaspersky Lab’s virus database may become outdated and no longer effective against new computer threats arising from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict or the usual activities of cybercriminals. We already know that there is a lot of friction in the networks, and incidents arise as the conflict develops.
The Anssi message only mentions Kaspersky. However, there are other software developed by Russian companies or individuals, in the field of computer security or not. This is the case of Dr.Web which is also an antivirus software. Other projects of Russian origin are also known, such as Telegram, 7-Zip or Nginx, but the risk has not been proven here.
However, Anssi reminds of the main rule: it is not recommended to leave Kaspersky Lab without replacing the solution. In view” in the context of tensions in cyberspace and the escalation of cybercrime it would be very reckless not to have adequate protection against phishing attempts, ransomware, or even more direct attacks.
Historically, Kaspersky has been accused of being a Trojan horse for Russian intelligence agencies, and the publisher’s decisions have been barred from US administrations in particular – we were then a year after the 2016 US presidential election that allowed Donald Trump to take power. , and Moscow is accused of having influenced these elections.
This crisis of confidence between Kaspersky and Washington is fueled by elements accusing the former of being used by Russian hackers to steal NSA tools. The antivirus was also suspected of storing classified American documents. Each time, Kaspersky defended himself, even offering experts to study the code of his software.
The American attitude towards Kaspersky is not at all the same as in Europe, at least in the West. Thus, Germany was more cautious. And France, in the voice of Anssi, publicly does not recommend doing without the company’s software. At least that was the case until February 24th. Since then, the situation has changed somewhat.