German cybersecurity agency BSI on Tuesday advised users to avoid using antivirus software developed by Kaspersky, a Russian firm. The company may be involved in hacking attacks as part of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
The Russian military and intelligence operations in Ukraine and security threats for EU and NATO allies, especially Germany and Germany, pose “a considerable risk of a successful IT attack”, the Federal Cyber Security Authority (BSI) declared in a press release.
“A Russian IT manufacturer can itself carry out offensive operations, can be forced to attack target systems against its will, or be itself spied on as a victim of a cyber operation without its knowledge, or be misused as a tool for attacks against its customers,” the agency said.
According to the BSI, operators and companies of critical infrastructures are the most vulnerable; however, individuals can also be impacted, encouraging anyone unsure to contact it for assistance.
The United States barred government agencies from using Kaspersky software from the beginning of the year 2017.
Kaspersky has never denied allegations that it is associated with the Kremlin. However, its business was badly affected due to the US ban that was put into in the year that the company’s software was downloaded on millions of computers around the world.
Cyber-security experts and military officials are concerned that Russia’s incursion into Ukraine could result in cyberattacks that could spread across the country -which could be a “cyber Armageddon” that would cause major harm to civilians from both countries, and also worldwide, as the spillover effect.
However, a most likely scenario of a worst-case scenario has been avoided as the attacks that have been observed appear to be limited in terms of their impact and geographical extent.
Germany has repeatedly claimed Russia of cyber espionage.
The most famous incident that has been blamed on Russian hackers has been an attack on the internet in 2015, which crippled the computer system of the lower house of the parliament, the Bundestag and forced the entire institution to be offline for several days until it was repaired.
Russia isn’t a party to these actions.