US government orders Kaspersky tools be removed

Eugene Kaspersky
Eugene Kaspersky. (Source: IDGNS)



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14 September 2017 | 0

The administration of US president Donald Trump has ordered government agencies to remove Kaspersky Labs products from its networks amid fears of influence from the Russian government, according to Reuters.

In a story on its web site, the news agency has said that the US government fears that the software could pose a risk to national security.

The move comes after years of speculation and accusation that has been vehemently denied by founder Eugene Kaspersky and the Kaspersky Labs company. Bloomberg first published stories in 2015 citing documents that appeared to indicate a link between the company and Russian intelligence services.

In July, the company offered to turn over its source code to the US government to demonstrate that there were no means by which it could be compromised, by either the Russian government or any other source.

However, the rumours persist.

In January of this year, a Kaspersky employee was arrested on suspicion of inappropriate contacts with Russian intelligence services. The same investigation targeted a senior figure in the FSB, the Russian intelligence service. However, it was also pointed out that the person in question was under surveillance before they joined Russian security firm.

The collective effect has been for Kaspersky Labs to be viewed with suspicion, as even US retailers have removed consumer products from shelves.

China had banned Kaspersky from Government contracts in 2014, however, it also banned Symantec in the same round and so may not be a reasonable comparison.

Despite the offer of opening up the source code, little evidence has been produced by any party to show either a direct link between the Kaspersky Labs company and the FSB, or a means in its products by which any influence could be brought to bear.

It leaves the company in a precarious position, as suspicions persist.


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