BREAKING: US Government Bans Kaspersky Software

The ongoing battle between the US Government and Kaspersky software took a new turn today. The Washington Post is reporting that the latter has been banned from the US government over fears of espionage:

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke ordered that Kaspersky Lab software be barred from federal government networks while giving agencies a timeline to get rid of it, according to several officials familiar with the plan who were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Duke ordered the scrub on the grounds that the company has connections to the Russian government and its software poses a security risk.

“The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks,” the department said in a statement. “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.”

Now this has been going on for months as evidenced by these posts on the subject. But this is a major escalation. And one that is sure to get a response from not just the software company, but the Russian government too. In terms of the former, this is what they had to say:

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. The only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab, a private company, is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight, and it’s being treated unfairly even though the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts.

“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 Russia,” the firm said.

I would recommend watching this story as it’s going to get interesting. Very interesting.

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