Monday, 22 October, 2018

Draft defense bill would ban Kaspersky's security software

Draft defense bill would ban Kaspersky's security software Draft defense bill would ban Kaspersky's security software
Kelvin Reese | 30 June, 2017, 00:56

The US military could be prohibited from using Kaspersky Lab's security products under a proposal being considered by the US Senate.

The interviews were followed on Wednesday by the release of a defense spending policy bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which would prohibit the U.S. Defense Department from using Kaspersky software platforms because the company "might be vulnerable to Russian government influence", according to a summary of the legislation.

The provision was revealed after the Federal Bureau of Investigation visited the homes of several Kaspersky Lab employees late Tuesday, although no search warrants were issued, sources told Reuters.

Buried in a draft of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, is an outline of a ban on the usage of Kaspersky Lab software products at the U.S. Department of Defense facilities. No search warrants were served.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said it "has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts".

A consensus in Congress and among Trump administration officials believed Kaspersky "cannot be trusted to protect critical infrastructure, particularly computer systems vital to our nation's security", Shaheen said.

It was unclear whether the probe into Kaspersky Lab was related to an investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with associates of then-Republican Party candidate Donald Trump.

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But the issue was brought into public view in recent months by key members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who began asking questions about Kaspersky Lab during open hearings on worldwide threats.

The US government is reviewing whether to continue using Kaspersky's anti-malware software in its offices, with unsubstantiated claims floating around to the effect that Russian Federation is using the software to spy on the US.

The firm's founder and chief executive, Eugene Kaspersky, said that, if asked, he would provide United States authorities with software "source code for checking".

The company, founded by a former Russian intelligence agent, has been under increased scrutiny, as intelligence experts have raised concerns the company's popular anti-virus software could be used to spy on Americans.

Eugene Kaspersky, the head of Kaspersky Lab, has himself said that he has no idea why the USA is targeting his company.

Kaspersky Lab has slammed allegations of its ties with the Russian government, saying that it is unacceptable "when false and unfounded accusations, which are not supported by any facts, are laid against the company", Interfax reports, citing the company.

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