Report FBI Urges Firms to Ditch Kaspersky Lab

first_img Another fake Pokemon Go app is infecting players’ phonesYandex web browser launches Stay on target The FBI is reportedly urging private sector businesses to ditch cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab.Long-held suspicions that Russian spies use the Moscow-based company as a global intelligence-gathering tool have put a strain on its relationship with the United States.Now, tensions are escalating as feds try to expunge Kaspersky products and services from various firms, according to CyberScoop, which cited “current and former senior US officials familiar with the matter.”Since early this year, the Bureau has reportedly been meeting with energy and tech companies to warn them of the threat posed by the security provider, which officials claim can not be trusted to protect America’s critical infrastructure.The FBI confirmed to Geek that it “regularly meets with” private sector organizations as part of its “outreach efforts.”“While we may discuss security concerns, we do not tell private sector organizations what business decision to make,” an agency spokesman said in a statement.“If these briefings are actually occurring, it’s extremely disappointing that a government agency would take such actions against a law-abiding and ethical company like Kaspersky Lab,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.The proclamation, emailed to Geek.com, repeatedly denies accusations of “unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russia,” and claims that the private firm is “caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight.”Kaspersky Lab, it said, “[is] being treated unfairly even though the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage or offensive cyber efforts.”CEO Eugene Kaspersky, who co-founded the provider in 1997, has even offered to meet with officials, testify before Congress, and provide source code for audit in an effort to clear his name. It seems, however, that the olive branch has been ignored.“The company simply wants the opportunity to answer any questions and assist all concerned government organizations with any investigations,” the spokeswoman said, “as Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded.”Law enforcement meetings, however, have yielded mixed results, according to CyberScoop, which suggested most energy firms have cooperated, many of them signing deals with Kaspersky’s rivals. Tech titans, meanwhile, are reportedly pushing back against the FBI’s advice.This secretive strong-arming comes amidst presidential action in July to remove Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors from which government agencies can purchase technology equipment.Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Aug. 23 with comment from the FBI.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img