The US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a binding operational directive to all federal agencies, ordering them to shutter use of Kaspersky software within 90 days over concerns with the Russian-based company’s ties to the Kremlin, reports “ZDNet” (http://tinyurl.com/ya5eulbk).
Kaspersky Lab is a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom. It ranks fourth in the global ranking of antivirus vendors by revenue. The company has became the subject of controversy in the United States, over allegations that it has engaged with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), in the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
DHS is giving federal agencies 30 days to identify Kaspersky Lab products on their networks and to remove and discontinue present and future use of the products in the next 60 days. The agency says there are requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky Lab and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks.
“The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky Lab products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates US national security,” says DHS.