Kaspersky Ban Stirs Confusion, Fear in US

Kremlin condemns US ban on Kaspersky Labs software

The Department of Homeland Security says the risk is that the Russian government, acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could use computer access to compromise USA government systems.

Kaspersky products accounted for about 5.5 percent of anti-malware software products worldwide, according to research firm Statista.

"There is no evidence to confirm these false media reports, because Kaspersky Lab does not have inappropriate ties to any government", Eugene Kaspersky wrote on Thursday in a Forbes exclusive.

"I applaud the Trump administration for heeding my call to remove Kaspersky Lab software from all federal agencies", she said in a statement.

The US Homeland Security Department's decision to ban the use of Kaspersky Lab software on the pretext of engagement in cyber espionage could actually be the start of a "wholesale attack" on Russian businesses overseas, the head of the State Duma's Committee on Information Policy, IT Technologies and Communications Leonid Levin told Sputnik.

The U.S. government has finally made a concrete decision regarding Kaspersky Lab, banning software from the Russia-based cyber security firm in federal agencies. USA government and private sector cyber experts were also invited.

In an email to Reuters, Kaspersky said, "I appreciate and accept the invitation to testify before the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and if I can get an expedited visa, I look forward to publicly addressing the allegations about my company and its products". And at the consumer level, electronics giant Best Buy announced that it was pulling Kaspersky's cybersecurity products from its shelves and websites.

The repercussions of this possible tie between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence could be futile in their impact, especially in the states.

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

Washington's recent attacks on Kaspersky Lab is seen by Moscow as an attempt to undermine efforts to rebuild a working relationship to combat terrorism and to initiate unfair competition in the information field and software market.

The Kremlin has criticized the United States government's latest ban, describing it as unfair competition.

"The objective of this hearing is to conduct oversight of the cybersecurity posture of the federal government, and examine the extent to which the federal government utilizes your company's products", Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), chairman of the subcommittee on oversight, wrote in the letter to Kaspersky.

Two sources familiar with the inquiries said Kaspersky has been most concerned about the probe of allegations that the company sabotaged competitors in the anti-virus industry through information-sharing programmes.

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