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United States bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies

United States bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies

"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".

"The department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks", the agency said. They must identify any use of Kaspersky products within 30 days, develop a plan to remove them within 60 days and discontinue using the services within 90 days.

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.

The company's cyber-security software is widely used in the United States, and its billionaire owner, Eugene Kaspersky, has close ties to some Russian intelligence figures, according to USA officials.

This is the first time the USA government has taken action and the clearest signal that the claims are being taken seriously. Earlier this summer, the company offered to open its source code for inspection by U.S. officials.

In a statement, DHS echoed this sentiment Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security says the risk is that the Russian government, acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could use computer access to compromise US government systems.

Indeed, the Department itself admitted that it didn't have any evidence of compromise. During a Senate hearing on Russian election interference in March, former NSA director Keith Alexander said he wouldn't trust Kaspersky products on his own computer and suggested that others shouldn't use it either.

Earlier this year, the federal General Services Administration-the agency in charge of government purchasing-removed Kaspersky Lab from its list of approved vendors.

David Kennedy, founder of Cleveland-based TrustedSec, told BuzzFeed News, that there has "never" been any evidence presented publicly that Kaspersky has direct ties to the Russian government, though he said some evidence might have been presented in private. "For us in the government that was can unacceptable risk".

There was no immediate reaction to the Homeland Security directive by Kaspersky.

The US-owned Best Buy chain sazid it would no longer sell Kaspersky products.

Also in July, the U.S. government's General Services Administration removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of approved vendors. "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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