Why the U.S. government is moving to ban this Russian software company

Eugene Kaspersky chief executive of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab at his company’s headquarters in Moscow

Eugene Kaspersky chief executive of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab at his company’s headquarters in Moscow

Kaspersky Lab stated that they were disappointed by the decision from the US government and deny any ties whatsoever to the Russian government or intelligence agencies. According to information that was brought forward by former American officials who sought anonymity, there has always been a determination to find out whether the senior executives of the company are working in collaboration with Russian intelligence and military. Kaspersky Lab denied that it has ties to the Kremlin, BBC reported.

The US government banned the use of Kaspersky security software in federal offices Wednesday, saying the Russian company has risky ties to Russian intelligence that threaten US national security. On its part, the company has furiously denied the allegations. If the company fails to do so, DHS will implement the ban.

But Kaspersky told NBC News in July that he was not now traveling to the United States because he was "worried about some unexpected problems" if he did, citing the "ruined relationship" between Moscow and Washington.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H, has been pushing to prohibit the federal government from using the firm's products.

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While he described the revenue his firm earns from the United States government as "close to zero", the wider USA market accounts for about a quarter of Kaspersky's sales.

The U.S. government action raised the question of whether those users should follow the U.S. government's lead.

Elaine C. Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, ordered federal agencies on Wednesday to begin devising plans to remove all Kaspersky software from government computer systems within the next 90 days due to fears that Kaspersky software may be acting as spyware for the Russian government.

Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, called the US government decision "prudent;" he had argued for such a step in July.

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However, DHS is also providing Kaspersky Lab an opportunity to tell its side of the story via a written response to the Department's concerns.

Kaspersky has more than 400 million customers worldwide, but it has never succeeded in becoming a major supplier to the USA government. "No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including claims about the impact of Russian regulations and policies on the company". Amazon, which also sells Kaspersky software, declined to comment.

TrustedSec's Hamerstone said the DHS move could have widespread implications.

Other experts, however, suggested that consumers should also uninstall Kaspersky software to avoid any potential risks. In a tweet, Kaspersky Lab said that the two companies have "suspended" their relationship, which they said may be "re-evaluated" in the future.

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