Kaspersky Lab Banned in the U.S.
Based in Moscow, Kaspersky Lab was founded in 1997 by Eugene Kaspersky, a Russian computer scientist who served in the Russian army. Used by 400 million personal users and some 270,000 businesses, Kaspersky Lab is among the top ten anti-virus vendors in the world with a market share (2015) of 3.5%. But now this market share will most-likely shrink as the company has been banned from the biggest market in the world. The U.S. Government, suspecting it of being vulnerable to the influence of the Kremlin, has removed Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors used by federal agencies and departments. As a result, Kaspersky Lab wouldn’t be able to renew its major contracts in the United States upon expiration and would lose a lot other potential deals.
Founder Eugene Kaspersky denied all allegations and said his company is being used as a pawn in a political game.
Still, the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., tells ABC News, “The strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are very alarming and well-documented. While much of this information is classified, there is ample publicly available information to justify Congress passing my amendment to ban the use of Kaspersky across the federal government.”
The senator, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, added, “Using Kaspersky software on federal computers is a national security vulnerability and invites further Russian cyber intrusion.”
Nearly a decade ago, the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation looking into the nature of Kaspersky Lab’s relationship to the Russian government, and last year FBI officials communicated potential concerns about Kaspersky Lab to a select group of private-sector leaders, ABC News reported in May.
The concerns came to light the following month in a public hearing, as all five heads of the U.S. intelligence community declared that they would not use Kaspersky antivirus technology, with Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, telling the Senate Intelligence Committee he was “personally aware and involved” in “national security issues” associated with Kaspersky Lab.