DHS issues government-wide order to end the use of Kaspersky Internet security products

FILE: Image depicts cybersecurity. (MGN)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The Department of Homeland Security issued an order on Wednesday directing all federal executive branch agencies to discontinue their use of Internet security products developed by the Russian-owned company, AO Kaspersky Lab.

The order cites concerning connections between Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence. DHS warned that the information systems operating with Kaspersky's anti-virus software can be compromised by malicious cyber actors able to gain "broad access" to computers and files.

"The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks," the order states.

The government agencies have the next 90 days to identify and remove any Kaspersky products.

U.S. lawmakers have cast a suspicious eye on Kaspersky in the context of the investigations into Russian cyber-enabled election interference.

According to reports, a House committee began an inquiry into Kaspersky Labs in July to look into the company's alleged "nefarious activities against the United States." A number of lawmakers have sought to end the government use of Kaspersky products in light of Russia's 2016 election meddling.

Kaspersky has reported it has 400 million users worldwide.

DHS will give Kaspersky an opportunity to dispute the order and inform Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke of any evidence, materials, or data that may be relevant.

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