United States vs Kaspersky: Politically-Charged 'Wholesale Attack' on Russian Businesses

Posted September 16, 2017

Last July, the Trump administration already removed Kaspersky from the list of approved state agencies' software vendors, citing concerns Russian authorities could infiltrate us government networks using Kaspersky's anti-virus products.

For those that aren't familiar, Kaspersky has been one of the firms most commonly associated with researching and securing against common security threats like Wanna Cry and others.

But the company's founder said that while he lived in Moscow and his firm co-operated with Russian law enforcement on cyber-security, there were no deeper ties.

This move by DHS is the latest in a series of actions taken by the USA government to vilify the Russia-based antivirus company and get its products away from government information systems.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered U.S. government agencies to stop using Kaspersky's cyber security software.

A key congressional panel has asked the CEO of Kaspersky Lab to testify before lawmakers, one day after the USA government barred federal agencies from using software produced by the Russian-origin cyber firm over national security concerns. Kaspersky's software is widely used by state governments, but also ordinary Americans. "There is no proof provided of any improper ties to the Russian government". "The strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are very alarming and well-documented".

"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", Homeland Security said.

While he described the revenue his firm earns from the USA government as "close to zero", the wider United States market accounts for about a quarter of Kaspersky's sales. And at the consumer level, electronics giant Best Buy announced that it was pulling Kaspersky's cybersecurity products from its shelves and websites.

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Kaspersky tweeted a screenshot of the invitation that he received from the US House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

The company denied the allegations.

The Department of Homeland Security gave federal offices 90 days to eliminate any software manufactured by Kaspersky Lab from their information systems. However, officials have not publicly disclosed which agencies exactly are using Kaspersky products. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has push legislation that would ban the company's products governmentwide.

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