Government Purges Computers of Russian Security Software

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The U.S. government announced Wednesday that federal agencies will be barred to use a Russia-branded security software on their computers amid concerns the private company may allow the Russians to conduct cyber espionage activities.

The Department of Homeland Security instructed the agencies to remove any Kaspersky Lab antivirus solutions from their networks within 90 days, arguing the cyber security software represents a security threat.

The DHS wrote in a memo that it is concerned about the connections between some Kaspersky representatives and the U.S. government. What’s more, the Russian law forces cyber security firms such as Kaspersky to assist Russian intelligence agencies in intercepting communications made through Russian networks.

The DHS is concerned that the Kremlin may take advantage of the access provided by Kaspersky to steal federal data and compromise systems, which can put at risk the country’s national security.

The U.S. agency made the announcement months after the agency in charge of buying software products for the U.S. government, the General Services Administration, removed the Russia-made security software from the list of secure solutions. At the time, the GSA argued that a flaw in the software may be exploited by government hackers to take over the systems that the agency tries to protect.

Kaspersky’s Response

On Wednesday, Kaspersky denied any ties to “any government.” The Russian company noted that the U.S. government produced “no credible evidence” to back their “false allegations.” According to Kaspersky, the Russian law that the DHS has cited does not apply to its business.

The company added that it has never helped and doesn’t plan to help any government in cyber espionage operations or other similar efforts.

[…] it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues,

Kaspersky said Wednesday.

It also announced that it plans to fully collaborate with DHS for a deeper investigation that could prove the allegations false.
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