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Federal agencies ordered to stop using Kaspersky software

Federal agencies ordered to stop using Kaspersky software

"This wasn't an easy action for the United States government to take, and it will also have significant ramifications for corporations that use Kaspersky", explained Hamerstone, who is the Practice Lead for the Governance, Risk, and Compliance division at security consultant TrustedSec. In doing so, the GSA suggested a vulnerability exists with Kaspersky that could give the Kremlin backdoor access to the systems the company protects.

It also said that the Russian law requiring assistance does not apply to the company.

"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any legislature on the planet with its cyberespionage or hostile digital endeavors, and it's perplexing that a privately owned business can be viewed as blameworthy until the point when demonstrated honest, because of geopolitical issues", the organization said. It said there is no evidence for accusations by U.S. officials and lawmakers that its antivirus software may be used to provide espionage services to the Kremlin. "If they want to provide additional information or mitigation strategies, our door is open".

The ongoing investigations into Russian hacking in the 2016 presidential election has watchful eyes cast in many directions.

American officials have not presented any concrete evidence that Kaspersky has allowed the Kremlin to use its products to advance its intelligence operations.

The directive will also put pressure on state and local governments that use Kaspersky's products. Many had been left to speculate about the risks of sticking with the company or abandoning taxpayer-funded contracts, sometimes at great cost.

"Regarding the Russian polices and laws being misinterpreted, the laws and tools in question are applicable to telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and contrary to the inaccurate reports, Kaspersky Lab is not subject to these laws or other government tools, including Russia's System of Operative-Investigative Measures (SORM), since the company doesn't provide communication services".

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McClatchy reported in July that documents it viewed appeared to show a link between Kaspersky and the Russian Security Service, the spy agency known as the FSB.

Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator and a former NSA official, hailed the move. It has tried largely in vain to become a vendor to the USA government, one of the world's biggest buyers of cyber tools.

Concerns about Kaspersky software had been brewing for years. According to the organization, American authorities have confounded Russian law. The concerns mounted in recent months, and DHS officials saw an opportunity to take action.

Kaspersky Lab released its own statement saying the allegations are false, claiming it "doesn't have any inappropriate ties with any government" and that there is "no credible evidence" to substantiate the ban and what it says is unfair treatment. In June, she successfully amended the defense policy bill to ban the Defense Department from using Kaspersky software.

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

Under the directive, all federal departments and agencies will have 30 days to identify Kaspersky products used on their information systems, 60 days to develop detailed plans to remove them, and then begin discontinuing their use within 90 days.

They worry Russian Federation could capitalize on that law and tap into US information.


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