The ongoing feud between the US government and the Russian security software company Kaspersky Lab came to a head on Wednesday when the Trump administration told all US government agencies to remove the company's software from their networks.
The US government and its intelligence agencies have grown increasingly concerned that the Moscow-based cyber security firm was being influenced by the Kremlin and that its popular suite of antivirus software could jeopardize the country's national security.
The FBI has even gone so far as to meet with private businesses in an effort to try to persuade them that using the software could put their organisations at risk. Just last week in fact, the US electronics retailer Best Buy removed all of Kasperksy's software from it store shelves over the issue.
Each time the company has denied any connection to the Russian government and Kaspersky was even ready to divulge its source code to US government officials to clear its name of any wrongdoing.
After President Trump's announcement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive to federal agencies ordering them to identify what Kaspersky products they were using within 30 days and remove them from all of their systems with 90 days.
A statement accompanied the directive from DHS which highlighted the severity of the potential risk of using Kaspersky's products, saying:
“The risk that the Russian government, whether action 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. Nation security.”
It is still unclear as to whether or not Kaspersky Lab has direct ties with the Russian government but it seems that damage has already been done when it comes to public opinion of the company in the US.
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