DHS Orders Feds to Ditch Software From Russia-Linked Kaspersky Lab

16 Septembre, 2017, 01:19 | Auteur: Phil Beauvilliers
  • DHS Orders Feds to Ditch Software From Russia Linked Kaspersky Lab

For months, us government officials and members of Congress have been expressing alarm and concern about Russian-based cyber firm Kaspersky Lab. After 90 days, they must start removing the Kaspersky products, unless instructed otherwise.

USA government regulators tagged Kaspersky as a potential threat to national security, saying the company's close ties to the Kremlin could allow it to leverage its software for surveillance and espionage.

Kaspersky has denied the allegations, saying it "doesn't have inappropriate ties with any government, which is why no credible evidence has been presented publicly", the Chicago Tribune says.

The order applies only to civilian government agencies and not the Pentagon, but US intelligence leaders said earlier this year that Kaspersky was already generally not allowed on military networks. At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May, the chiefs of six major US spy agencies all said they would not use Kaspersky software on their computers.

In a story on its web site, the news agency has said that the United States government fears that the software could pose a risk to national security.

Also of concern is the possible Association of employees of "Kaspersky Lab" with the Russian intelligence service and other agencies.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow on September 14 that USA actions "cast a shadow over the image of our American colleagues as reliable partners" and violate "all global trade rules". It is unknown how the DHS' announcement will influence Kaspersky users, retailers or partners.

In retaliation to the mounting attacks on Kaspersky's reputation in the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged support for a law that favors Russian software over foreign products on Russian government networks.

In its statement Wednesday, DHS said it is "providing an opportunity for Kaspersky to submit a written response addressing the department's concerns or to mitigate those concerns".

Kaspersky Lab has faced allegations of ties with the Russian government for some time. Mr Kaspersky's background - he was educated at a KGB-backed technical college and briefly worked for a Russian defence ministry scientific institute - has long given rise to suspicions about his loyalties despite his denials. Kaspersky software is used by consumers in both free and paid versions, available both online and in stores.

The US Department of Defence has also been banned from using the software following a draft version of the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act.

The statement says the department's priority is to "ensure the integrity and security of federal information systems", and that is has offered Kaspersky an opportunity to respond to its concerns.