Kaspersky halts all European security projects in response to EU ban

CEO Eugene Kaspersky warns the EU's decision 'plays into the hands of cyber criminals'

Kaspersky has frozen all cyber security collaborations with European agencies and organisations in protest against an EU statement that referred to its software as "malicious".

A motion tabled as part of a wider EU cyber security report last month called for a comprehensive review of all IT software, infrastructure and equipment used by member states, in an attempt to stop "an unprecedented threat" of "politically motivated, state-sponsored cyber attacks".

The penultimate proposal of that report, which was adopted on 13 June, also called for a ban on any software products "that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab", with no mention of any other companies.

The motion follows a similar decision in the US, which has now banned all Kaspersky products from use within government departments, and guidance for UK public bodies, fearing ties between the Moscow-based company and the Russian government.

Kaspersky Lab, which said it has worked to protect the EU from cyber threats for the past 20 years, responded on Friday to call the accusation "untrue" and to say it showed a "distinct lack of respect", according to a statement provided to the BBC.

CEO Eugene Kaspersky said the company had no choice but to take "definitive action", announcing that the company would halt all collaborative efforts with EU cyber crime agencies, including Europol.

"We have protected the EU for 20 years working with law enforcement leading to multiple arrests of cybercriminals," CEO Kaspersky said on Twitter. "Based upon today's decision from the EU Parliament, we are forced to freeze our cooperation with orgs", specifically highlighting the #NoMoreRansom initiative, which helps ransomware victims recover their data.

He argued that the EU's stance worked to encourage cybercrime across its member states, and that the company's stance would hold until the EU withdrew the motion.

"It's indeed frustrating that there was no investigation, no evidence of any wrongdoing from our side, just references to false allegations from anonymous sources," added Kaspersky.

"The risks of using our software are purely hypothetical. Just as hypothetical as with any other cybersecurity software of any country. But the risk of becoming a victim of a genuine cyber attack is real - and extremely high. Ergo: EP's political decision plays *for* cybercrime".

The feud comes only a month after Kaspersky announced it would relocate some of its Moscow-based core infrastructure to data centres in Switzerland, in what would be the first of a series of "transparency centres".

Kaspersky considered the move to be a gesture of its willingness to work with governments, having long claimed independence from Russian authorities.

Image: Shutterstock

Featured Resources

Digital document processes in 2020: A spotlight on Western Europe

The shift from best practice to business necessity

Download now

Four security considerations for cloud migration

The good, the bad, and the ugly of cloud computing

Download now

VR leads the way in manufacturing

How VR is digitally transforming our world

Download now

Deeper than digital

Top-performing modern enterprises show why more perfect software is fundamental to success

Download now

Recommended

Bank-targeting malware disguises itself as video conferencing software
Security

Bank-targeting malware disguises itself as video conferencing software

19 Oct 2020
What is shoulder surfing?
Security

What is shoulder surfing?

19 Oct 2020
Google blocked record-breaking 2.5Tbps DDoS attack in 2017
Security

Google blocked record-breaking 2.5Tbps DDoS attack in 2017

19 Oct 2020
Microsoft releases two emergency Windows patches
Security

Microsoft releases two emergency Windows patches

19 Oct 2020

Most Popular

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

5 Oct 2020
iPhone 12 lineup official with A14 Bionic chip and 5G support
Mobile Phones

iPhone 12 lineup official with A14 Bionic chip and 5G support

13 Oct 2020
Google blocked record-breaking 2.5Tbps DDoS attack in 2017
Security

Google blocked record-breaking 2.5Tbps DDoS attack in 2017

19 Oct 2020