The National Cyber Security Centre has confirmed that it never certified software or other products from Kaspersky Lab.
The move comes after Kaspersky was removed from two US public sector purchasing lists.
In a statement to Reuters, the National Cyber Security Centre said it never certified any products from Kaspersky Lab as it never received any such products for certification.
“The NCSC certifies products through a range of initiatives, and vendors apply to have their products certified via one of our accredited lab partners. We certify products through a range of initiatives, but the NCSC has never had products listed from Kaspersky,” it said.
According to New Statesman Tech, this shouldn’t be surprising as the NCSC is not a regulator and does not ban any products.
“We provide advice and guidance on how organisations can protect their networks. Our certification schemes do not currently cover anti-virus or anti-malware services,” said the NCSC to New Statesman Tech.
“Kaspersky, like any other supplier, is welcome to participate in NCSC certifications. We welcome engagement from all industry partners as we develop and improve our initiatives,” it added.
Kaspersky Lab said that while NCSC does not certify antivirus products, it “works closely with public sector across the world and where required with regulatory and certification bodies.” As such, it is not mandatory for Kaspersky to obtain a certification from the NCSC to continue operating in the UK.
However, the story is a lot more complicated in the United States. Kaspersky Lab says it has lately become a victim of a crossfire between the US and Russian governments despite repeatedly stressing that it has no ties to any government.
US intelligence agencies believe the Russian government played an active role in influencing last year’s presidential elections and are alleging that Kaspersky Lab may have links to Russian defence and intelligence agencies.
“We are very concerned about it and we are focused on it very closely,” said FBI acting director Andrew McCabe to the Guardian. Mike Rogers, the head of NSA, said that their organisations and contractors choose to stay away from Kaspersky software because they believe Kaspersky Labs recruited several people recently who may have links to Russian defence and intelligence agencies.
Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s co-founder, has termed the accusations as “complete nonsense, pure and simple.”
“I respectfully disagree with their opinion, and I’m very sorry these gentlemen can’t use the best software on the market because of political reasons,” he added.