Barclays axes free Kaspersky product as a ‘precaution’

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Barclays has stopped offering free Kaspersky anti-virus products to fresh customers following an official warning about Russian security software.

The bank emailed 290,000 online banking customers on Saturday to say the move was a “precautionary decision”.

UK cyber-security chiefs are warning government departments not to use software through Russian companies for systems relating to national security.

Barclays said This specific treated the security of its customers “very seriously”.

A spokesman for Kaspersky said This specific was “disappointed” in which Barclays had discontinued its offer to fresh customers.

The National Cyber Security Centre – the UK’s authority on cyber security in addition to part of GCHQ – is usually writing to all government departments telling them Russian security software could be exploited by the Kremlin.

although officials stressed they were not saying members of the public or companies should stop using Kaspersky products, which are used by about 400 million people globally.

Barclays told customers This specific would certainly no longer offer free Kaspersky software “following the information in which’s been shared inside the news” – although advised people with the software already installed in which they did not need to take any action.

This specific wrote: “The UK government has been advised… to remove any Russian products through all highly sensitive systems classified as secret or above.

“We’ve made the precautionary decision to no longer offer Kaspersky software to fresh users.

“However, there’s nothing to suggest in which customers need to stop using Kaspersky.”

This specific went on: “At This specific stage there is usually no action for you to take. This specific’s important in which you continue to protect yourself with anti-virus software.”

‘Ripping out’

The 290,000 people who received emails through Barclays are all online banking customers, who had downloaded Kaspersky inside the past decade as part of a 12-month free trial offered by the bank.

Many of these customers, who could include individuals employed by the government, could have ended their subscription once the free trial ended.

Ian Levy, the NCSC’s technical director, said there was no evidence the guidance to government departments should apply to the wider public.

“For example, we definitely don’t want people doing things like ripping out Kaspersky software at large as This specific makes little sense,” he said.

A spokesman for Barclays said: “Even though This specific fresh guidance isn’t directed at members of the public, we have taken the decision to withdraw the offer of Kaspersky software through our customer website.”

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