Trump signs bill barring USA government use of Kaspersky

Vyacheslav Prokofyev  Tass via Getty Images

The ban, included as part of a broader defense policy spending bill that Trump signed, reinforces a directive issued by the USA administration in September that civilian agencies remove Kaspersky Lab software within 90 days, Reuters reported.

The security firm has been under fire over the past year after it was accused of working with Russian intelligence.

"Though there have been media reports that Russian operatives may have reconfigured Kaspersky Antivirus to search for classified documents in addition to viruses, Kaspersky has denied witting involvement in any government scheme". Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., told Reuters. She added that the company's software represented a "grave risk" to US national security. Shaheen sent a letter to the Trump administration asking that information on Kaspersky Lab be declassified "to raise public awareness regarding the serious threat that the Moscow-based software company poses to the United States' national security".

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USA officials have said that step, while welcomed, would not be sufficient.

Kaspersky Lab issued a statement Tuesday saying it has "serious concerns" about the new law prohibiting USA federal agencies from using its products because of "its geographic-specific approach to cybersecurity".

Following Trump's decision, Department of Homeland Security cyber official Christopher Krebs said numerous government's agencies had already removed the software.

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"Yet, Congress failed to address this fact or take a comprehensive look at federal IT sourcing policies to determine what improvements, if any, Congress could make to existing statutory and administrative authorities related to protecting government networks".

One of them shows that in April 2015, an FSB agent inside the office of Kaspersky Lab in Moscow gave a company technician a password for a suspected Russian cyber criminal's computer.

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