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US bans use of Kaspersky software in federal agencies

Because Russia.
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Kacper Pempel / Reuters

The US government has officially banned the use of Kaspersky security software in all of its federal agencies. Kaspersky has been under suspicion for cyberespionage for several months now, especially due to its ties to the Russian government and the fact that the company is required under Russian law to comply with Russian intelligence agency requests.

According to a statement provided by the Department of Homeland Security to the Washington Post: "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."

Kaspersky Lab, on the other hand, firmly denies the accusations, stating that it "doesn't have any inappropriate ties with any government" and that there's "no credible evidence" to back up the "false allegations." It also complained that it's being treated unfairly, and that it's never helped any government in cyberespionage.

The US government has already removed Kaspersky from its approved vendors list back in July amid speculation that it's involved with Russian authorities. Now the government is going so far as to ban it altogether, giving federal agencies three months to remove the software. A draft version of the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act has banned the Department of Defense from using it as well, though The Washington Post notes that the Defense Department doesn't generally use it anyway.

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