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Federal agencies ordered to stop using Kaspersky software

Federal agencies ordered to stop using Kaspersky software”

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke gave the agencies a timeline for complying with the directive.

It cites possible ties between certain Kaspersky officials and the Russian government that could use the software in homes, businesses and government agencies to spy on Americans to steal files or attack infrastructure.

At a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee in May, six of the USA intelligence community's top officials all said they would not allow the use of Kaspersky software products in their systems.

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.

On July 11, the Bloomberg news agency published an article which said that emails obtained by the agency's Bloomberg Businessweek revealed that the Kaspersky Lab allegedly developed products for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and supported its agents during raids.

"The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalise on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates USA national security", she added. "The company does regularly work with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world with the sole goal of fighting cybercrime".

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, participates in a panel discussion during day 3 of the 48th Munich Security Conference at Hotel Bayerischer Hof on February 5, 2012 in Munich, Germany.

"Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments around the world to protect those organizations from cyberthreats, but it does not have unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russian Federation", the firm said.

In a statement to The Washington Post on Wednesday, the company said: "Kaspersky Lab doesn't have inappropriate ties with any government, which is why no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization to back up the false allegations made against the company".

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.

In response to previous accusations, Kaspersky had pointed out that it "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts".

But Kaspersky also sells to federal contractors and third-party software companies that incorporate its technology in their products, so its technology may be more widely used in government than it appears from the contracting databases, US officials say.

This is the first time the USA government has taken action and the clearest signal that the claims are being taken seriously. Kaspersky added it is ready to provide all the necessary information to prove that this decision is wrong.

"No" was the reply given by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart.



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