UK cyber security chief warns government against using Kaspersky

Kaspersky just can't catch a break.

Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

In another blow to Kaspersky's business, UK's cyber security authority has advised government agencies not to use the anti-virus software. UK's National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin sent a letter to other departments, warning them that Russia, "a highly capable cyber threat actor which uses cyber as a tool of statecraft," has the intent to target the UK and its critical infrastructure. As such, Martin wrote, computers with info that could harm national security shouldn't use an anti-virus software developed by a company based in Moscow.

Kaspersky has been under fire these past few months after allegations came out that it's been working with the Russian government to steal classified data from the US and Israel. In September, Best Buy pulled copies of the anti-virus from its shelves, and the US government officially banned its federal agencies from using it shortly afterward. In an effort to salvage what's left of its reputation, the company announced in October that it's giving third-party checkers access to its source code for review.

Despite Martin's warning, the UK government isn't writing off Kaspersky forever. The Cyber Security Centre is working with the company to develop a framework that it can independently verify and use to prevent Russia from getting its hands on the country's secrets.