US Bans Kaspersky Lab Products Over Security Concerns

16 Septembre, 2017, 16:20 | Auteur: Stephane Girardot
  • DHS bans Kaspersky on federal PCs over Russia fears

The administration of U.S. president Donald Trump has ordered government agencies to remove Kaspersky Labs products from its networks amid fears of influence from the Russian government, according to Reuters.

The move comes amid a growing paranoia in Washington about the Putin administration's apparent attempts to undermine the democratic process in various nations, including interference in its own presidential election past year.

Kaspersky has headquarters in Moscow but locations worldwide, serving roughly 400 million customers.

The agencies and departments have now been given one month to map their use of Kaspersky products and three months to begin their removal, the U.S. Homeland Security Department (DHS) said in an online statement on Wednesday.

All departments have 30 days to identify the presence of Kaspersky products within their agency and 90 days to discontinue use and remove the products from their information systems.

The DHS also asked Kaspersky to provide a written response to mitigate these concerns.

The Department claims that the Russian government could compel Kaspersky to compromise its own products on behalf of Russian intelligence, although there is no evidence either of such a request or of Kaspersky software being mis-used in this or any other way. The FBI has also been probing if Kaspersky software involving its well-considered antivirus programs, accommodating back doors that could permit Russian discernment entrance into computers on which it is running.

Moscow-based Kaspersky has denied any unethical ties with Russian Federation or any government. Kaspersky issued a statement denying the claims, saying "the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions".

The concern over Russian ties has steadily increased as the government continues to find evidence of the Russian government meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Electronics retailer Best Buy has removed Kaspersky products from its shelves, although it declined to explain why. "No company is engaged in this", he said.

At a Senate intelligence committee hearing in May, top US officials were asked whether they would be comfortable with Kaspersky software on their computers. The company enlisted the likes of former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former White House cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt to help navigate the Beltway corridors of power and influence.

Democrats on Capitol Hill applauded the decision.

Kaspersky suggested the decision had more to do with tensions between Washington and Moscow than its business, which sells products to governments around the world.

Federal executive branch agencies must stop using software from Kaspersky Lab.

Still, the USA government's decision is a blow to Kaspersky Lab, which spent years trying to curry favor with Washington insiders and government agencies. "This is especially concerning because the Russian government is actively trying to undermine our democracy".

Should countries start banning the sales of tech products from companies that have any kind of ties with a regime they do not like then we should find ourselves in all sorts of bother.

In the latest denial, following the DHS announcement, Kaspersky said it was disappointed with the United States government's decision. In June, she successfully amended the defence policy bill to ban the Defence Department from using Kaspersky software.