Israel Raises Concerns to U.S. Regarding Kaspersky Labs
Americans now have a better idea why the government has decided to block federal agencies from using Russian-based security company, Kaspersky Labs, products. Engadget reported,
“Israel-linked hackers were watching Russian hackers breach an NSA contractor’s computer in real-time using a popular anti-virus tool. “
During this process, screenshots and documentation were taken by Israel, showing how the Russian hackers were using Kaspersky software to obtain the highly confidential information off of the NSA contractor’s device. Israeli officials then turned this information over to American officials. It was not only this information, but the suspected ties to the Kremlin that led the U.S. government to lead a movement removing the Russian-based company’s products from federal devices.
Kaspersky No More?
First, Kaspersky was removed from the General Service Administration (GSA) contract; meaning, it is not an approved security solution for government agencies to use on devices. Second, Congress began litigation to ban the security products from all government devices. Third, the security software was banned from all military devices. Most recently, the government has given federal agencies until mid-December to remove Kaspersky products from their devices and find an alternative security solution.
From a retail perspective, the FBI has also encouraged private-sector companies to review their use of the Russian-based security program. Shortly after, two major electronics retailers, Best Buy and Office Depot dropped the security program from their retail and online stores.