US Bars Agencies From Buying Software From Russian Cybersecurity Firm

Is Kaspersky Lab a victim of the cold war

Under scrutiny, Kaspersky Lab considers changes to US subsidiary

The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a blanket ban on Kaspersky anti-virus software, informing all Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies that they need to stop using the apps.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the order on September 13 following growing criticism in Congress and elsewhere about the Moscow-based company's software products, which are widely used in the United States and elsewhere.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab rejected the allegations, as it has done repeatedly in recent months, and said its critics were misinterpreting Russian data-sharing laws that only applied to communications services.

McClatchy reported in July that documents it viewed appeared to show a link between Kaspersky and the Russian Security Service, the spy agency known as the FSB.

The Best Buy-Kaspersky dissolution comes after several months of growing suspicion about just how cozy the antivirus company is with the Russian intelligence service.

Kaspersky Lab paid former national security adviser Michael Flynn $11,250 in 2015 for cyber-security consulting, according to public documents, but that was not a focus of the Federal Bureau of Investigation questioning, multiple sources said.

"While this action involves products of a Russian-owned and operated company, the Department will take appropriate action related to the products of any company that present a security risk based on DHS's internal risk management and assessment process".


The DHS is instructing departments and agencies to identify any use Kaspersky products on their information systems in the next 30 days and to develop detailed plans to remove the software in the next 60 days.

At the end of its full statement on the issue, available here, DHS states that it will allow Kaspersky and "any other entity that claims its commercial interests will be directly impacted" to submit a written argument along with any evidence or data that could offset the usa government's concerns.

"These ongoing accusations also ignore the fact that Kaspersky Lab has a 20-year history in the IT security industry of always abiding by the highest ethical business practices and trustworthy technology development", the company statement added.

The FBI warned industry leaders about potential risks of using Kaspersky products past year.

In a statement sent to eWEEK, Kaspersky Lab stated that it is not required to provide aid to the Russia government, unlike domestic Russian Internet service providers and telecommunication firms.

It said it was not a telecoms provider and so not subject to the Russian laws Duke referred to on cooperation with the government.

Concerns about Kaspersky software had been brewing for years, according to one former official who told The Post that some congressional staffers were warned by federal law enforcement officials as early as November 2015 not to meet with employees from Kaspersky, over concerns about electronic surveillance. "Kaspersky is a direct threat to national security". Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has push legislation that would ban the company's products government-wide. Joyce said those concerns were a factor but that a "tough decision" ultimately had to be made to protect government systems. At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May, the chiefs of six major USA spy agencies all said they would not use Kaspersky software on their computers.

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