The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday banned agencies and Federal Executive Departments from the use of Kaspersky Lab- related products and services.
According to the DHS, this is based what the agency referred to as 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 gave Kaspersky an opportunity to submit a written response addressing the Department’s concerns or to mitigate those concerns, which the security firm has done.
In a statement on Wednesday, the same day DHS issued its directive, Kaspersky released a statement calling the decision disappointing.
“Given that Kaspersky Lab doesn’t have inappropriate ties with any government, the company is disappointed with the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but also is grateful for the opportunity to provide additional information to the agency in order to confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded.”
“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. Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments around the world to protect those organizations from cyberthreats, but it does not have unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russia.
Kaspersky claimed the law referenced by the DHS was “misinterpreted.”
“Regarding the Russian policies and laws being misinterpreted, the laws and tools in question are applicable to telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and contrary to the inaccurate reports, Kaspersky Lab is not subject to these laws or other government tools, including Russia’s System of Operative-Investigative Measures (SORM), since the company doesn’t provide communication services. Also, it’s important to note that the information received by the company, as well as traffic, is protected in accordance with legal requirements and stringent industry standards, including encryption, digital certificates and more.
Kaspersky maintained its innocence amidst allegations that it aids governments, specifically, the Russian government, with cyberespionage efforts.
“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues.”