Kaspersky Lab co-founder accepts invitation to testify to US Congress

16 September, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Russia calls US ban on Kaspersky products 'regrettable' (Lead)

Last July, the Trump administration already removed Kaspersky from the list of approved state agencies' software vendors, citing concerns Russian authorities could infiltrate us government networks using Kaspersky's anti-virus products.

Kaspersky products accounted for about 5.5 percent of anti-malware software products worldwide, according to research firm Statista.

Software firm Kaspersky Lab is back under the microscope of the federal government - this time, leading to an FBI investigation for possible links to Russian security services.

"Given that our intelligence officials would not use Kaspersky Lab software, it is alarming that essential US government agencies do".

The House Science Committee has announced an upcoming hearing to examine "the risks Kaspersky products pose to USA information systems", in the aftermath of the Department of Homeland Security directing agencies to discontinue use of such cybersecurity products.

The Trump administration yesterday told USA government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their networks, saying it was concerned the Moscow-based cyber security firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence and that using its anti-virus software could jeopardize national security. US government and private sector cyber experts were also invited. "This is especially concerning because the Russian government is actively trying to undermine our democracy".

Kaspersky Lab maintains that "all accusations brought against us are baseless", the company said in a statement quoted by TASS.




"The department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies", the directive said.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a multipronged digital influence operation previous year in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the White House, a charge Moscow denies.

The chief executive of the software company, Eugene Kaspersky, is a mathematical engineer who attended a KGB-sponsored school and once worked for Russia's Ministry of Defense.

Company spokesman Anton Shingarov said Thursday in Moscow that the US ban was "part of a geopolitical game" and "there is no proof provided of any improper ties to the Russian government". The latest is electronics retailer Best Buy which said there were "too many unanswered questions" about the firm's software.

Kaspersky Lab denies the allegations.

The Kremlin has criticised the United States government's actions, describing the ban as unfair competition.

Federal contracting databases reviewed by Reuters show only a few hundred thousand dollars in purchases from Kaspersky, and an employee told Reuters in July the company's federal government revenue was "miniscule".

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