US administration bans Kaspersky products from government networks

  • Roman Šulc
  • 23.9.2017 12:32

On 13 September, US Department of Homeland Security issued a directive requiring American government agencies to remove software developed by the Russian company Kaspersky Lab from their systems within ninety days. This step is justified by the security risks allegedly posed due to broad access to data and high privileges which are given to anti-virus programs. These attributes are considered exploitable by malicious cyber actors who could compromise the systems. Another controversial matter is the ties of high-ranking representatives of the company to Russian intelligence community and other state authorities. Given these conditions, it can be assumed that Kremlin is able to force the company to cooperate through legislation or even use its infrastructure unauthorised to compromise federal systems.

While the US has been worried about Kaspersky's ties to the Kremlin for a long time, the initiative against the company's involvement in government equipment only stepped up during president Trump's administration. The resulting regulation, which was started by efforts to eliminate Kaspersky software from US Army's IT infrastructure can be seen as the US response to Russian intervention in the American presidential elections. In reaction to the directive, a spokesman for Kaspersky Lab sternly denied improper ties to Russian or any other government. Not unlike the USA, the Russian Federation has been also striving to replace foreign government software with domestic alternatives.

About author: Roman Šulc

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