Tech

Italy will limit the use of Russian antivirus software in the public sector

FILE PHOTO: GSMA's Mobile World Congress 2022 (MWC) in Barcelona
FILE PHOTO: A man walks next to Russia’s Kaspersky booth during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 in Barcelona, ​​Spain March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

March 17, 2022

By Angelo Amante

ROM (Reuters) – The Italian government is ready to limit the use of Russian antivirus software in the public sector following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid fears Moscow could hijack the programs to hack key websites, officials said.

Franco Gabrielli, Secretary of State for Security, told the Senate on Tuesday that the government was working on rules that would allow state agencies to pull the plug on software being developed by Russia’s Kaspersky Lab.

A government source told Reuters that the new rules would allow public administrations to replace any software deemed potentially dangerous without facing penalties.

A second source said the regulation could be approved as early as this week.

Kaspersky’s office in Italy said it was monitoring the situation with “great concern” and was particularly concerned for its employees, warning they risked suffering from decisions based on geopolitical rather than technical issues.

“We hope that this stance will not result in the implementation of illiberal legislation that would primarily affect our Italian partners, families and citizens,” Kaspersky said in an email to Reuters.

Kaspersky added that it is a privately held company with no ties to the Russian government.

In an advisory issued on Tuesday, Italy’s state cybersecurity agency said there was no evidence products from companies linked to Russia had been compromised since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

However, it warned that risks would need to be reassessed in light of the growing conflict and that antivirus software was particularly vulnerable due to the “highly invasiveness” of the systems they serve.

Earlier this week, Germany’s Cybersecurity Agency warned users of Kaspersky software that it posed a serious risk of a successful hack.

In a sign that Italy’s business community was also sensitive to its ties with Kaspersky, Formula One team Ferrari said Thursday its sponsorship deal with the company had been suspended by mutual consent. A Ferrari spokesman also said the company is looking into using Kaspersky antivirus software.

(Additional reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Heavens)

https://www.oann.com/italy-set-to-curb-use-of-russian-anti-virus-software-in-public-sector/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=italy-set-to-curb-use-of-russian-anti-virus-software-in-public-sector Italy will limit the use of Russian antivirus software in the public sector

Emma Bowman

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