Feds ban Russian software from government computer networks

Feds ban Russian software from government computer networks

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive to federal agencies ordering them to identify Kaspersky products on their information systems within 30 days and begin to discontinue their use within 90 days.

The appearance before Congress would be Kaspersky's most high-profile attempt to address long-standing accusations that his firm may be conducting espionage on behalf of the Kremlin.

"There is no evidence to confirm these false media reports, because Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government", Eugene Kaspersky wrote on Thursday in a Forbes exclusive.

"Given that our intelligence officials would not use Kaspersky Lab software, it is alarming that essential USA government agencies do".

"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 statement adds.

The U.S. on Wednesday banned federal agencies from using computer software supplied by Kaspersky Lab because of concerns about the company's ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy operations.

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A committee aide said that the hearing will examine risks that Kaspersky products pose to US information systems.

Restrictions of the United States authorities on the Russian anti-virus company were commented in Moscow by various government levels. In a tweet, Kaspersky Lab said that the two companies have "suspended" their relationship, which they said may be "re-evaluated" in the future. However, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies generally do not use Kaspersky software and have not for a number of years. The FBI has also been investigating whether Kaspersky software products provide backdoors allowing Russian intelligence to access computers running the software, a claim that the company denies.

Best Buy was the first big retailer this month to announce it would stop selling the software.

And chiefs of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CIA kept it short and sweet, answering with a simple "no" when asked if they would be alright with running Kaspersky's software on their agencies' systems.

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, USA officials say.

The Kremlin has criticised the USA government's actions, describing the ban as unfair competition. As a result, he expects most companies to find another alternative to Kaspersky.

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