The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered government agencies to stop using any software products made by security company Kaspersky Lab.
The move comes after a Bloomberg Businessweek story in July which reported alleged links between the Russian-based security company and the Russian government.
The CIA and the US Senate Intelligence Committee is still investigating whether or not Russia influenced the US election, and any concerns over Putin and his government are heightened as a result.
DHS said in a statement, posted by Reuters journalist Dustin Volz on Twitter:
“This action is based on the information security risks presented by the use of Kaspersky products on federal information systems. The department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies.”
The DHS is not the first place to ban Kaspersky Labs. Earlier this month, the consumer electronics store Best Buy said it would no longer be stocking software made by the company.
The company, which was founded by Eugene Kaspersky in 1997, has a 5.48 percent share of the anti-malware market, according to Statista.
Kaspersky Lab says it has over 400m users protected by its security technology, as well as 270,000 corporate clients.
A spokesperson from the company told Verdict it was disappointed by the decision from DHS. As well, they said the allegations were “completely unfounded”.
“No credible evidence has been presented publically by anyone or any organisations as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including the claims about Russian regulations and policies impacting the company.
“Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments around the world to protect those organisations from cyber threats, but it does not have unethical ties and affiliations from any government, including Russia.”
What’s the latest with the Russia investigations?
The federal investigation into whether Russia interfered with the US presidential election has been ongoing for the past six months.
In recent days, it has been revealed that the son of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser who resigned over links to Russia, is also being investigated as part of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, alongside his father.
At the moment, the list of those under scrutiny also includes: Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager; Carter Page, a Trump campaign ally; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser; and Donald Trump Jr, Trump’s son.
Ryan Kazanciyan, chief security architect at US company Tanium, told Verdict he thinks Russia definitely influenced the election. The question of directly meddling, however, is a tricky one.
“Looking at the summation of evidence, and also from having investigated these groups in my prior lives, I have no doubt that it was a multi-faceted coordinated effort to exert influence.
“Is there an indication of whether they actually succeeded in tampering with votes? That’s something I think is still unclear” said Kazanciyan.