US Government Ordered to Remove Kaspersky Lab Antivirus Software from Computers

Kelley Robertson
September 16, 2017

The chief executive of the software company, Eugene Kaspersky, is a mathematical engineer who attended a KGB-sponsored school and once worked for Russia's Ministry of Defense.

"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 department said.

"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 US national security". Amazon, which sells Kaspersky software, declined to comment.

Various U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies and several congressional committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Bloomberg suggested that the tools not only deflected cyber-attacks, but also captured information about the hackers launching them, to pass on to Russian intelligence services. It has an excellent reputation and is widely used although some claim the firm has connection with Russian intelligence services.

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


The Kremlin has criticised the USA government's actions, describing the ban as unfair competition.

But in a statement, Kaspersky Lab founder Eugene Kaspersky denied that the company has inappropriate ties with any government.

The federal order banning its products only affects civilian federal agencies. Some government networks might not know they are using the software because of subcontracting. But he added by email that "for most everybody else, the software is fine". Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has push legislation that would ban the company's products governmentwide.

Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday the US move "cast a shadow over the image of our American colleagues as reliable partners" and was created to cripple Kaspersky's competitive advantage on the worldwide market.

Kaspersky Lab maintains that "all accusations brought against us are baseless", the company said in a statement quoted by TASS. "Today's announcement is a significant step forward in removing this national security vulnerability from federal computer systems".

Vladimir Bruter, an expert with the International Institute of Humanitarian and Political Studies, told Sputnik that "if some officials in Russian Federation said that Apple and Microsoft were working hand in glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and, therefore, their products were considered a security threat and should be outlawed, they would immediately be branded in America as the main enemies of democracy".

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