American government agencies have been ordered to remove Russia’s Kaspersky Lab cyber-security firm products within three months as the company faces increased scrutiny over suspected ties to the Russian security services.
In July, the Trump administration removed Kaspersky from the list of state agencies’ software vendors, citing concerns Russian authorities could infiltrate U.S. government networks using Kaspersky's anti-virus products or other software.
The agencies and departments have now been given one month to map their use of Kaspersky products and three months to begin their removal, the U.S. Homeland Security Department (DHS) said in an online statement on Wednesday.
“The risk that the Russian government, whether acting 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. national security,” the statement said.
Kaspersky, which is headquartered in Moscow, in a reaction on Wednesday denied having ties to the Russian government.
"Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber-espionage or offensive cyber efforts,” it said, adding "it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues."