It’s getting all political again! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has instructed all federal agencies to stop using Kaspersky Antivirus due to alleged ties with the Russian government. Apparently, the DHS is concerned about the potential collecting of sensitive data and other security threats by the Russian antivirus company.
The Washington Post reports that federal civilian agencies will have up to 90 days to “identify any presence of Kaspersky products on their information systems.” After the 90 days period, all traces of Kaspersky antivirus will have to be removed from federal computers.
This action follows recent concerns that Kaspersky has ties with Kremlin, which can allegedly lead to conspiring cyber attacks on federal computers. The DHS further states:
“This action is based on information security risks presented by the use of Kaspersky Products on federal information systems. Kaspersky anti-virus products and solutions provide broad access to files and elevated privileges on the computers on which the software is installed, which can be exploited by malicious cyber actors to compromise those information systems. The Department is concerned about the ties between Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky 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 products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.”
On the other hand, Kaspersky stated that it “doesn’t have inappropriate ties with any government, which is why no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization to back up the false allegations made against the company.”
So far, it’s DHS’ word against Kaspersky’s word. In that manner, the DHS will give Kaspersky to prove its ‘innocence’, otherwise, the process will be continued.
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