Kaspersky software banned at United States federal agencies amid concerns of Kremlin ties

Sep 14, 2017, 01:05
Kaspersky software banned at United States federal agencies amid concerns of Kremlin ties

It cites possible ties between certain Kaspersky officials and the Russian government that could use the software in homes, businesses and government agencies to spy on Americans to steal files or attack infrastructure.

The Moscow-based world leading cybersecurity company's response came after the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered all government agencies to "develop plans to remove" all Kaspersky products from their information systems.

USA officials have been wary of Kaspersky Lab's ties to the Russian government and state-sponsored cyberespionage-a concern that has only ramped up in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, which Russia appear to interfere with.

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Last week, Best Buy Co, the No.1 USA electronics retailer, said it was pulling Kaspersky Lab's cyber security products from its shelves and website. Unless directed otherwise by DHS based on new information, agencies and departments have 90 days from the date of the directive to discontinue use of Kaspersky Lab products.

The action removed the company from the list of products approved for purchase on federal systems and at discounted prices for state governments. In a New York Times column earlier this month, Shaheen warned that the company poses a danger to US security.

Intelligence officials implicated the Russian government in a series of cyberattacks previous year on the Democratic National Committee's computers, and other Democratic officials. "Given that Kaspersky Lab doesn't have inappropriate ties with any government, the company is disappointed with the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but also is grateful for the opportunity to provide additional information to the agency in order to confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded", it said.

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"In addition, business and government users may choose to install a local and private KSN center on their premises to make sure the data never leaves their facility", the company highlighted. "Many of those companies will now feel compelled to go through their systems and remove this antivirus program, as well as conduct a risk assessment".

Kaspersky Lab's statements ignore the fact that it faces a wider backlash after retailer Best Buy withdrew its products from its shelves. It was already cut from the short list of approved IT vendors for the us government back in July but has now been officially banned from use in all federal agencies.

Kaspersky Lab has laughed off attempts to have its wares banned from United States government computers by saying it hardly sold to the Feds anyway. "The US has aired similar concerns about other companies, like Chinese telecom company Huawei, which is now banned from entering the US network equipment market".

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Vendors have survived this sort of thing before: Huawei remains forbidden from selling to the U.S. and Australian governments, but its consumer handset business is doing very well in both markets and its enterprise business is a contender in many industries.

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