- Nov 30, 2015
U.S. federal agencies have been directed to stop using Kaspersky software by the Department of Homeland Security.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has directed federal agencies to end their use of Kaspersky software amid concerns over the company's ties to the Russian government,
BREAKING: DHS directs federal agencies to identify any use of Kaspersky software and prepare to stop using it.
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller)
This follows increasing scrutiny Kaspersky products have faced in recent months amid heightened concerns around potential Russian-borne cyber threats. The DHS directive 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.
For its part, Kaspersky has denied any nefarious ties to the Russian government, but a
DHS says that Kaspersky will have an opportunity to submit a written response to address or attempt to mitigate the department's concerns.