A growing fear of online security has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds ever since Edward Snowden dropped the bomb on how the NSA spies on individuals. But governments aren’t immune to the paranoia of catching malware, spyware or viruses – as is the case now with China.
According to media reports, the Chinese government has placed Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab and US-based Symantec on an exclusion list of security software suppliers. The only government-approved security vendors are Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising – which are all Chinese in origin.
Govt procurement agency has excluded Symantec & Kaspersky fm a security software supplier list, all 5 in are fm China pic.twitter.com/cSqCxVN0jI
— People’s Daily,China (@PDChina) August 3, 2014
According to Bloomberg, “the exclusion follows a notice from the Public Security Ministry in June that Symantec software had security vulnerabilities, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. The procurement agency removed the companies’ antivirus programs from its list of approved software, which includes products offered by domestic companies.”
Kaspersky Lab confirmed in a press statement that they have indeed been placed on an exclusion list, but didn’t want to go into too much detail, saying it was “too premature”.
“China temporarily rescinded its endorsements of all foreign security providers. We are investigating and engaging in conversations with Chinese authorities on the matter,” it said.
Equally, Symantec was quick to respond, as stressed that they do not insert malicious code or spyware into their products, even if the NSA asked them to.
“Symantec does not put hidden functionality or back doors into any of its technologies — not for the NSA or any other government entities,” it told Bloomberg.[Source – Bloomberg]