The Department of Homeland security commanded government agencies to prevent using any software products made by Kaspersky Lab today. The decision comes after a Senate Intelligence Committee blamed the Russian antivirus vendor of having hidden relations to the Russian government.
According to DHS directive :
“This action is based on the 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 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. 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.”
The DHS is giving Kaspersky the chance to appeal the decision, albeit experts believe this would be a useless effort.
The directive comes in the wake of an unprecedented Russian operation to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, with Russian spy services hacking the networks of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations and publishing damaging data.