Kaspersky Lab asks court to overturn US govt software ban

Kaspersky sues US over software ban

In September, the US Department of Homeland Security ordered state agencies and departments to stop using Kaspersky Lab products over their potential threat to the internal cybersecurity.

US President Donald Trump signed the US defense budget for the fiscal year 2018 on December 12, which also prohibits the use of Kaspersky Lab's software products by US government agencies. In October 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2015 Russian hackers used access to Kaspersky's antivirus software to lift classified tools and files from the home computer of an NSA intelligence officer.

The appeal is part of an ongoing campaign by Kaspersky to refute allegations the company is vulnerable to Kremlin influence. "It said the company has never helped any government anywhere with cyber-espionage and added that it's, quote, 'disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent due to geopolitical issues'".

The order came amid mounting concern in the U.S. that Kaspersky software could assist Russian espionage and threaten national security.

"DHS has harmed Kaspersky Lab's reputation and its commercial operations without any evidence of wrongdoing by the company", the company's founder, Eugene Kaspersky, said in an open letter to the Homeland Security agency published on Monday.

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The Department of Homeland Security didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on Kaspersky's lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the government largely relied on uncorroborated news media reports as evidence in a review of Kaspersky software.

"Dissuading consumers and businesses in the United States and overseas from using Kaspersky Lab products exclusively because of its geographic origins and without any credible evidence ... does little to address information security concerns related to government networks", Eugene Kaspersky said.

Allegations that Moscow-based Kaspersky, which sold more than $600 million of anti-virus software globally in 2015, knowingly or unknowingly helped Russian intelligence steal top-secret information from the United States have effectively killed its business here and hurt its worldwide reputation. USA intelligence agencies said earlier this year that Kaspersky products were already generally not allowed on military networks.


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