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14 September 2017, 01:29 | Marta Robbins
US bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage
The Department of Homeland Security has ordered federal agencies to stop using software made by Kaspersky Lab over concerns about the company's ties to Russian intelligence, DHS announced Wednesday.
"While this action involves products of a Russian-owned and operated company, the Department will take appropriate action related to the products of any company that present a security risk based on DHS's internal risk management and assessment process".
The company once again underlined that it has no ties "with any state in the world" and is "deeply disappointed" by the decision of the authorities in the US.
Kaspersky said the company was happy to have an opportunity to provide information to show that the allegations are unfounded.
A statement said executive-branch departments and agencies have up to 90 days to begin discontinuing use of Kaspersky software and remove the products from computer systems.
The DHS, however, provided no evidence to support its claims.
"Given that U.S. government sales have not been a significant part of the company's activity in North America, Kaspersky Lab is exploring opportunities to better optimize the Washington D.C. office responsible for threat intelligence offerings to United States government entities", the company said in a statement.
"No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including the claims about Russian regulations and policies impacting the company", he tweeted.
The move comes amid several federal investigations into whether the Russian government attempted to meddle in the 2016 USA presidential election.
"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any legislature on the planet with its cyberespionage or hostile digital endeavors, and it's perplexing that a privately owned business can be viewed as blameworthy until the point when demonstrated honest, because of geopolitical issues", the organization said. The company has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage.
It also said that the Russian law requiring assistance does not apply to the company. It said there is no evidence for accusations by US officials and lawmakers that its antivirus software may be used to provide espionage services to the Kremlin. The company's founder, Eugene Kaspersky, graduated from a KGB-supported cryptography school and had worked in Russian military intelligence.
Shaheen has been working to pass a government-wide ban on Kaspersky software, which would effectively make the directive the law.
In announcing its July decision, the GSA underscored that its mission was to "ensure the integrity and security of US government systems and networks" and that Kaspersky was delisted "after review and careful consideration". Several other retailers that carry Kaspersky, including Amazon and Newegg, declined to confirm to BuzzFeed News that they were committed to continue to selling the firm's products. "And while there haven't been articles that have come out saying the same thing about U.S. based companies, you have to understand that it's gotta be true of us here as well". 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.
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