On Wednesday, the US government agencies received a directive from the Trump administration to stop using Kaspersky Lab products and remove it completely from their networks citing security reasons.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a Binding Operational Directive (BOD) to Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies, directing them against using security products, solutions, and services by AO Kaspersky Lab.
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The BOD needs government departments to identify the presence and use of Kaspersky products within the next 30 days and to curb their existence from their system within 90 days of issuing this directive.
The directive came from the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke.
The DHS claims that Kaspersky products present a security risk on federal information systems. They also claimed that there are rising concerns about Kaspersky’s association with Russian Intelligence and other government agencies.
“Kaspersky antivirus products and solutions provide broad access to files and elevated privileges on the computers on which the software is installed, which can be exploited by malicious cyber actors to compromise those information systems,” the Department of Homeland Security stated.
The DHS is also concerned that Russian law allows its Intelligence agencies to compel Kaspersky to assist them to intercept communications transiting Russian Networks, which can potentially be a risk to the US national security.
“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.”
The DHS also asked Kaspersky to provide a written response to mitigate these concerns.
What Does Kaspersky Have to Say?
“Given that Kaspersky Lab doesn’t have inappropriate ties with any government, the company is disappointed with the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but also is grateful for the opportunity to provide additional information to the agency in order to confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded,” the company released an official statement.
The company also mentioned that since 85 percent of their revenue is generated from outside Russia, it won’t be in their best interest to work inappropriately with the Russian or any other government.
“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues.”