- British spies are reportedly worried that Russia is using security software distributed by Kaspersky to spy on two million Barclays customers.
- The UK bank has given Kaspersky’s software away for free to its online banking customers since 2008.
- Barclays will drop the Kaspersky deal for “commercial reasons” but said it had never been advised by GCHQ against using the firm’s products.
- Kaspersky’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, has dismissed the report as a rumour.
- The accusations come after the US Department of Homeland Security banned all Kaspersky products from government departments.
The UK’s intelligence service is reportedly worried that Russia may be using Kaspersky security software to spy on as many as 2 million Barclays customers, according to a Whitehall official speaking anonymously to The Financial Times.
Barclays has offered security software from Kaspersky software as a free perk to its online banking customers since 2008. At the time, Barclays had at least 2 million online banking customers.
According to the anonymous official, the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ fears that Russia could be using the software to spy on customers, who would potentially include government workers and members of the military.
Kaspersky is a Russian firm and its billionaire founder, Eugene Kaspersky, was educated at a technical facility sponsored by Russia’s security agency at the time, the FSB.
Eugene Kaspersky denied the report on Twitter.
“This story is based on rumours from unnamed sources, rather than specific facts that we can address,” he told a CNN reporter.
According to The Financial Times, Barclays is seeking to end its commercial arrangement with Kaspersky — but a spokesman said this was for commercial reasons. The bank said it had never received advice from GCHQ’s commercial arm, the NSCS, to stop using Kaspersky products.
The NSCS also said it had never banned the use Read More Here