The United States government has just passed a ban regarding the use and operation of security software developed by a leading Russian brand, citing security concerns.
The ban on Kaspersky Labs software was passed when U.S. federal agencies expressed serious concerns about the company having close ties with cyber-threat agencies.
A binding directive was passed wherein the acting secretary of U.S.
Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, called for an order that the leading federal agencies have identified.
The same order clearly states that Kaspersky software must be removed within 90 days, as it has been noted that the developer has direct contact with the Russian government—thereby posing a major security risk to the nation.
According to an official statement released by the security agency, the federal authorities are concerned about the growing ties between the officials of Kaspersky and the intelligence bureau of Russia.
Furthermore, Kaspersky has also been found to have direct links with some cyber-espionage agencies.
The U.S. government believes that the security risks are more than just alarming, primarily because Russian law gives authority to the nation’s intelligence agencies for requesting or compelling any kind of assistance from the antivirus company.
They are also permitted to intercept any communications traveling amid the Russian networks.
The risk here lies in the fact that the Russian government will have the opportunity to capitalize on the access provided by Kaspersky software.
This, in turn, can lead them to compromise and tamper with the information shared between federal agencies and the information within the systems that are directly associated and concerned with U.S. national security.
The Russian government can either act on its own or collaborate with Kaspersky officials to finally give shape to this major breach of security.
This recent directive has come within a couple of months after Kaspersky was removed from the list of approved vendors by the U.S. General Services Administration.
According to the GSA, even after removing Kaspersky software and banning its access, therein lies an additional threat where the company can conceptualize and execute to the Kremlin backdoor access to the valuable systems protected by the company itself.
Contrarily, in a statement posted by Kaspersky in response to the directive, officials thwarted all the claims made by the U.S. government and stated that they do not have any inappropriate ties or associations with the Russian government.
They also indicated the lack of authentic evidence that should have been publicly presented against them.
They have reported the allegations to be false and baseless.
The officials further added that the Russian law that requires assistance does not apply in the case of the company.
They stand by their claim further by suggesting that Kaspersky Lab has never assisted nor will they ever assist any specific government with regard to offensive efforts of cyber-espionage activities.
They are visibly appalled that a private company is being targeted at this level, simply owing to the geopolitical tension.
The company said that they’re looking forward to working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as the team at Kaspersky believes that a consistent and proper probe on the issues will definitely prove that the allegations are, in fact, baseless.
The company’s CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, posted a brief statement on Monday to say he accepted an invitation to testify before the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at a hearing planned for September 27.
Despite the claims meted by Kaspersky, the GSA specifically focused on the fact that the mission is to ensure complete and consistent integrity of the networks and systems operating within the U.S. government.
They further added that Kaspersky was only delisted after a detailed and careful review was conducted on their activities.
As a result of this action, Kaspersky software programs are no longer included in the list of products that have been approved for purchase by governmental departments, both on the federal and state level.
Still, the U.S. intelligence agencies have adhered to their previous considerations about Kaspersky software.
These concerns were noted in a hearing for the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this year, where the primary officials for six main intelligence agencies stated that they would not be using this security software within their systems.