Homeland Security Orders Removal of Kaspersky Lab Antivirus from Government Computers

Kremlin condemns US ban on Kaspersky Labs software

U.S. authorities also said that that "certain Kaspersky officials" could have ties with Russian intelligence and other government agencies, providing an opportunity for United States security to be "compromised".

"We've had few customers raise concerns, but for those that have, we've offered advice on how to remove Kaspersky from their computers", said Craig VerColen, spokesman for Boston-based software provider LogMeIn, which offers Kaspersky as a complementary perk to small businesses buying its products.

Elaine C. Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, ordered federal agencies on Wednesday to begin devising plans to remove all Kaspersky software from government computer systems within the next 90 days due to fears that Kaspersky software may be acting as spyware for the Russian government.

Worries rippled through the consumer market for antivirus software after the USA government banned federal agencies from using Kaspersky Labs software on Wednesday.

Also in July, the USA government's General Services Administration removed Kaspersky Lab from a list of approved vendors.

"No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organisation as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including the claims about Russian regulations and policies impacting the company".

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The U.S. government action raised the question of whether those users should follow the U.S. government's lead.

Kaspersky Labs denied any ties and said it's disappointed with the DHS decision. US Intelligence officials have also asserted for quite some time that Kaspersky has ties to the Russian Federation, if for no other reason than the company's founder came from a KGB cryptography school. Kaspersky products will now be withdrawn from stores and the firm's website.

Bloomberg suggested that the tools not only deflected cyber-attacks, but also captured information about the hackers launching them, to pass on to Russian intelligence services.

Kaspersky Lab did not immediately respond when asked if its chief executive would attend.

But Kaspersky also sells to federal contractors and third-party software companies that incorporate its technology in their products, so its technology may be more widely used in government than it appears from the contracting databases, USA officials say. The US is not the first country to ban the use of Kaspersky by the government.

The government ban should alarm any company that has been relying on Kaspersky's software to protect its business, said Nate Fick, CEO of computer security specialist Endgame.

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