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December 13, 2017updated 14 Dec 2017 4:36pm

US law bans Kaspersky products in government agencies

Kaspersky Lab firmly denies all allegations of affiliation with the Kremlin and states that any security software can be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

By Tom Ball

A law has been passed by the US government prohibiting the use of Kaspersky Lab security products within government agencies, leading on from a ruling that they must be removed earlier this year.

The passing of this law was motivated by suspicions that the security company has links with the Russian government; the global cybersecurity firm firmly denies this notion.

Kaspersky Lab CEO, Eugene Kaspersky previously said that he is willing to provide access to the company’s source code, intending to dispel concerns relating to Russian government affiliation.

US law bans Kaspersky products in government agencies

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, said: “The case against Kaspersky is well-documented and deeply concerning. This law is long overdue, and I appreciate the urgency of my bipartisan colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee to remove this threat from government systems,” Shaheen said.

There is also significant commercial risk to the Kaspersky Lab business, not only in terms of a damaged image, but the FBI has also reached out to retailers encouraging the abandonment of the security firm’s products.

A Kaspersky spokesperson said: “All software, including various products more widely deployed in government networks than Kaspersky Lab software, can have vulnerabilities exploited by a malicious cyber actor… Yet, Congress failed to address this fact or take a comprehensive look at federal IT sourcing policies to determine what improvements, if any, Congress could make to existing statutory and administrative authorities related to protecting government networks.”

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Allegations of Russian intervention in the 2016 Presidential Election have put significant strain on relations between the two major nations, with tense matters of foreign policy also having negative effects.

Charl van der Walt, Chief Security Strategy Officer, SecureData, said: “Cyberspace is densely occupied by civilians. The people who build it, the technologies they build and the people they sell it to are also largely civilian. So it’s inevitable that civilians are going to be dragged into the domain of international conflict. With the recent spat between Kaspersky and the USA, and now US laws against the use of Kaspersky products, the military and civilian perspectives of the Internet now collide, as every technology and every technology user belong to both the Internet and a specific geopolitical entity.”

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