Kaspersky: US government removes Russian security software

Earlier Wednesday, the DHS issued a Binding Operational Directive (BOD) calling on the United States departments and agencies to identify and "to develop detailed plans to remove and discontinue present and future use of the products" supplied by Kaspersky Lab within 90 days.

A U.S. senator called for further restricting the use of the Russian software developer, Kaspersky Lab amid reports of the USA government's plans to limit the use of the company's products over its alleged ties to Russian intelligence services. They must identify any use of Kaspersky products within 30 days, develop a plan to remove them within 60 days and discontinue using the services within 90 days.

In recent months concern has mounted inside the government about the potential for Kaspersky software to be used to gather information for the Russian secret services, officials said.

Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, said Wednesday at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit that the Trump administration made a "risk-based decision" to order Kaspersky Lab's products removed from federal agencies.

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 USA national security. "The company does regularly work with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world with the sole goal of fighting cybercrime".

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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. It also pointed out that government and business users have the option to opt-out of sending data to the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).

It said it was concerned about ties between company officials and the Russian intelligence services. At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May, six of the US's top intelligence officials, including the directors of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said they would not be comfortable personally using Kaspersky software.

In July, the chief executive of Russia's Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, told The Associated Press at his Moscow headquarters that US government officials can examine his company's source code to dispel suspicions about his company's ties to the Kremlin.

"While our intelligence agencies may not use Kaspersky software, other federal agencies do", Klobuchar wrote. In July, The Post found several state or local agencies that used Kaspersky's anti-virus or security software had purchased or supported the software within the past two years. "The company looks forward to working with DHS, as Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will substantiate that these allegations are without merit", the statement said.

  • Megan Austin