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14 September 2017, 01:03 | Colleen Roy
Logo of the Kaspersky Lab antivirus software developer
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke gave the agencies a timeline for complying with the directive.
Officials say that the prominent company poses a threat to USA national security and have given government agencies and departments 90 days to get rid of Kaspersky Lab software. Agencies will have 30 days to "identify any presence of Kaspersky products on their information systems", 60 days to develop plans to remove and discontinue use of the products, and 90 days to implement said plans.
In recent months, former American intelligence officials have described Kaspersky as a huge potential asset for the Kremlin because of the way anti-virus software works.
"The Department is concerned about the ties between certain 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", DHS said in its directive.
"Under Russian law that company must collaborate with the FSB", Rob Joyce, Trump's top cyber adviser, said during remarks at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington.
"No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including claims about the impact of Russian regulations and policies on the company", it said in a statement.
The directive issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke comes as various US law enforcement and intelligence agencies and several congressional committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
"The only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab, a private company, is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight, and it's being treated unfairly even though the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts", the company said. It also pointed out that government and business users have the option to opt-out of sending data to the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).
Founder and chief executive Eugene Kaspersky said he has repeatedly offered to present the company's source code to USA officials for an audit, but has not been given the opportunity to do so.
"No" was the reply given by then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart.
The action removed the company from the list of products approved for purchase on federal systems and at discounted prices for state governments.
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