USA bans Kaspersky software from government agencies

Under scrutiny, Kaspersky Lab considers changes to US subsidiary

US bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage

At a Senate intelligence committee hearing in May, top USA officials were asked whether they would be comfortable with Kaspersky software on their computers. Federal officials are concerned the software may be feeding user information to Russian intelligence. "This is especially concerning because the Russian government is actively trying to undermine our democracy".

Washington has previously voiced concerns that the software would give the Kremlin backdoor access to the USA systems, an allegation denied by Kaspersky.

However, the company has repeatedly denied allegations of ties to the Kremlin.

"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.

And as ABC News first reported two weeks ago, Sen.

Kaspersky Lab, in a statement posted on its website, says the company does not have inappropriate ties with any government and is disappointed with the decision to ban its products from USA government computers.

The U.S. cited concerns about Kaspersky's ties to Russian intelligence services as the reason for the ban, which was announced Wednesday.

The company made a lengthy statement in its defence, expressing disappointment at the United States administration's actions, but maintaining it "is grateful for the opportunity to provide additional information to the agency in order to confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded". People have questioned the Kaspersky-Russia connection for years.

Eugene Kaspersky, the company founder, was interviewed by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seeking to identify any links between the company and the Russian intelligence service known as FSB. In July, Kaspersky said he was willing to testify before congress and turn over the company's source code "to prove that we don't behave maliciously".

Kaspersky Lab is a commonly used antivirus provider but following the Russian hacking of the USA 2016 presidential election, the federal government has been on high alert regarding foreign-based technology firms. On Tuesday, company founder Eugene Kaspersky took to Twitter to try to calm fears. "Yes, it is that absurdly ridiculous".

However, the company has not been able to shake off the allegations.

Kaspersky is the world's largest private cybersecurity company, offering tailored solutions to fight deep threats and sophisticated, evolving digital threats.

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab claimed it was disappointed by the decision, but that it would be taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the DHS to submit a written response to mitigate the department's concerns.

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