In an email to Reuters, Kaspersky said, “I appreciate and accept the invitation to testify before the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and if I can get an expedited visa, I look forward to publicly addressing the allegations about my company and its products”.
Duke gave a statement on the removal of Kaspersky software saying, “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 US national security”.
The Trump administration’s decision to stop using Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity products over concerns of possibly unethical ties to Russian intelligence is having a ripple effect throughout the Moscow-based company – including at its USA headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts. Kaspersky said it is not subject to the Russian laws cited in the directive and said information received by the company is protected in accordance with legal requirements and stringent industry standards, including encryption.
Kaspersky, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Moscow, is now one of the world’s leading cyber security firms.
Kaspersky has more than 400 million customers worldwide, but it has never succeeded in becoming a major supplier to the USA government.
While he described the revenue his firm earns from the U.S. government as “close to zero”, the wider USA market accounts for about a quarter of Kaspersky’s sales.
What did the US government actually do? The order does not apply to military networks. In doing so, the GSA suggested a vulnerability exists with Kaspersky products that could give the Kremlin surreptitious access to the systems using the software. However, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies generally do not use Kaspersky software and have not for a number of years.
What is the US government anxious about? Kaspersky Lab denied that it has ties to the Kremlin, BBC reported.
The Russian embassy in the United States called the Kaspersky Lab ban “regrettable” and said it delayed the prospects of restoring bilateral ties. Even though Kaspersky has called the allegations “completely unfounded” and said the “Russian policies and laws [are] being misinterpreted”, Best Buy has already announced it will no longer sell Kaspersky software.