President Trump orders government purge of Kaspersky security products

DHS bans Kaspersky on federal PCs over Russia fears

Kaspersky Lab, on the other hand, firmly denies the accusations, stating that it "doesn't have any inappropriate ties with any government" and that there's "no credible evidence" to back up the "false allegations".

A Kaspersky Lab spokesperson said in a statement that the company is disappointed in the DHS decision and will provide additional information "to confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded".

The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that Kaspersky could give a written response to the ban to address the department's concerns.

At least a half-dozen federal agencies run Kaspersky on their networks, the USA officials said, although there may be other networks where an agency's chief information security officer - the official ultimately responsible for systems security - might not be aware it is being used.

"The reason all this drama is happening is because there were articles that came out indicating that Kaspersky had ties to the Russian government", said Dan Tentler, founder of Phobos Group.

Kaspersky said in a statement that it was disappointed by the directive and insisted "it does not have unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russian Federation".

Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it's disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues.

The order comes from the Department of Homeland Security with a directive to all federal agencies to identify Kaspersky products on their systems within 30 days and to discontinue usage within 90 days.

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". "Public contracting reports show that Kaspersky Lab software has been used by the Department of Justice, the Treasury Department, the Department of State and several other agencies".

A former senior official at the company told NBC News that the company's US federal government business is small, but the reputational damage from a federal ban would be huge.

She added that the company was planning to open new offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto in 2018. A draft version of the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act has banned the Department of Defense from using it as well, though The Washington Post notes that the Defense Department doesn't generally use it anyway.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H, has been pushing to prohibit the federal government from using the firm's products. For instance, Russian intelligence agencies can "compel assistance" from Russian companies to hand over information that passes through their networks.

"To date, DHS had only issued four binding operational directives to federal agencies and they've done so quietly", Thompson said.



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