Russia's Kaspersky To Dial Down Government Services In US

DHS orders departments & agencies to remove Kaspersky products over 'Russian intelligence ties'

DHS orders departments & agencies to remove Kaspersky products over 'Russian intelligence ties'

The Trump administration on Wednesday told USA government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their information systems, saying it was concerned the Moscow-based cyber security firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

The DHS is instructing departments and agencies to identify any use Kaspersky products on their information systems in the next 30 days and to develop detailed plans to remove the software in the next 60 days.

The senator's comment comes following earlier media reports suggesting that the U.S. government plans to limit the use of Kaspersky products in the country over the company's alleged ties to Russian intelligence services in a move the Kremlin called "politicized".

"The company would continue to work together with the US Department of Homeland Security as [it] is sure that further investigations would prove that all accusations brought against it are baseless", Kaspersky Lab's press service said in a statement as cited by TASS.

The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security. For instance, Russian intelligence agencies can "compel assistance" from Russian companies to hand over information that passes through their networks. "This wasn't an easy action for the United States government to take, and it will also have significant ramifications for corporations that use Kaspersky", explained Hamerstone, who is the Practice Lead for the Governance, Risk, and Compliance division at security consultant TrustedSec.

At a Senate intelligence committee hearing in May, top USA officials were asked whether they would be comfortable with Kaspersky software on their computers.

In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News after the DHS announcement, Kaspersky said that it "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".

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

Still, aside from Kaspersky's ties to Russia and the word "cyber", there's no public evidence to show that the company is colluding with Russian intelligence services.

Founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky said he has repeatedly offered to present the company's source code to U.S. officials for an audit, but has not been given the opportunity to do so.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H, has been pushing to prohibit the federal government from using the firm's products.

"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 is a direct threat to national security".

"Expanding the company's presence in the region will better enable Kaspersky Lab to provide its customers with the best cybersecurity solutions and services", the statement said.

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