Russian anti-virus firm to be purged
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke ordered federal agencies to identify and stop use of any products or services supplied by AO Kaspersky Lab, saying the U.S. fears the company’s ties to Russian intelligence operatives.
The new directive applies to the entire executive branch, which comprises nearly every federal government office, excluding only the courts and Congress.
In a statement, Homeland Security said Kaspersky’s anti-virus products give the company broad access to files on computers, which in turn opens the computers up to being compromised.
“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 department said in a memo outlining the new order.
The new Homeland Security directive gives all executive branch departments and agencies 30 days to identify Kaspersky products they are using, another 30 days to come up with a plan to expunge the software, and a final 30 days to carry it out.