FBI Reportedly Urges Companies to Stop Using Kaspersky Software
Latest reports say that the FBI is urging private sector companies to ditch Kaspersky software. This is the latest development in the issues that had been going on between the US government and the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.
A Yahoo report titled ‘FBI reportedly advising companies to ditch Kaspersky apps’ says- “Kaspersky Lab’s tussle with the US government could have ramifications for its dealings with the private sector. A new report claims the FBI has been meeting with companies to warn them of the threat posed by the cybersecurity firm. “
Online Magazine CyberScoop reports– “The FBI’s counterintelligence section has been giving briefings since beginning of the year on a priority basis, prioritizing companies in the energy sector and those that use industrial control (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems”. The report further says- “In the briefings, FBI officials give companies a high-level overview of the threat assessment, including what the U.S. intelligence community says are the Kaspersky‘s deep and active relationships with Russian intelligence. FBI officials point to multiple specific accusations of wrongdoing by Kaspersky, such as a well-known instance of allegedly faking malware”.
Issues had been going on between the US government and Kaspersky for the quite some time. Earlier this year, federal government agencies were asked by a US congressional panel to share documents on Kaspersky Lab stating that Kaspersky products could be used for nefarious activities against the US. In May, U.S. intelligence officials told a Congressional committee that they were reviewing government use of software from the Kaspersky Lab following senators raising concerns that Moscow might use Kaspersky products to attack American computer networks. Then, in July, the General Services Administration removed Kaspersky from an approved-vendors list. Later there was a push to bring a ban on the use of Kaspersky products by the US Department of Defense.
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Kaspersky has been denying the allegations repeatedly. The CyberScoop report says- “In the years since suspicion has crept up against Kaspersky, the firm has repeatedly denied that it poses a threat to U.S. security or that it cooperates with Russia or any other government to spy on users. Efforts to reach out to American authorities have repeatedly been ignored or dismissed, the company told CyberScoop.”
The CyberScoop report also quotes a Kaspersky spokesperson- “CEO Eugene Kaspersky has repeatedly offered to meet with government officials, testify before the U.S. Congress and provide the company’s source code for an official audit to help address any questions the U.S. government has about the company, but unfortunately, Kaspersky Lab has not received a response to those offers…The company simply wants the opportunity to answer any questions and assist all concerned government organizations with any investigations, as Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded.”
It is also reported that the results to FBI urging private sector companies to ditch Kaspersky applications have been mixed. Firms in the energy sector reportedly cooperated promptly while many tech giants seem to have resisted taking any swift action.