DHS announces Kaspersky software ban on federal computers
- On Wednesday, the U.S. federal government banned the use of Russian-based Kaspersky Lab products from any federal government computer system, according to The New York Times. Investigators, including those from the FBI, have accused the well-known cybersecurity software firm of direct ties to the Kremlin.
- The decision came from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with Elaine C. Duke, acting secretary, instructing government agencies to rid their computer systems of Kaspersky products in the next 90 days.
- Although denied by Kaspersky Labs, the antivirus software provider is being investigated by officials who claim the products may grant access to Russian-based intelligence operatives through U.S. computers. Additionally, investigators claimed malware attacks or spyware hacks are possible.
Kaspersky Lab is a commonly used antivirus provider but following the Russian hacking of the U.S. 2016 presidential election, the federal government has been on high alert regarding foreign-based technology firms.
Earlier this week, Best Buy announced its decision to discontinue the sale of Kaspersky products, heeding Congress' concerns. Amazon, Staples and Office Depot all sell the software and have yet to announce any potential changes to the products, as reported by CNBC.
Kaspersky Lab does not only provide cybersecurity measures for consumer use. Kaspersky products are used across the board, including public and private companies. The software provider is also partners with major enterprise technology companies like Microsoft and IBM. It is unknown how the DHS’ announcement will influence Kaspersky users, retailers or partners.
In a Tweet, Kaspersky refuted the U.S.’s decision and defended against claims of Kremlin ties, saying "no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions." Time will tell how the rest of Kaspersky’s U.S. consumer base will respond.