Kaspersky Lab, the Russian security software company best known for its anti-virus software, has hit out at its de-listing by the US government from two lists of approved vendors that government agencies can buy from.
The delisting by the US General Services Administration (GSA) bar US public sector agencies from purchasing IT services and digital photography equipment from Kaspersky. It follows claims that the company is too close to the Russian government, although no evidence has been produced that indicates that there is anything wrong with Kaspersky's software.
The GSA's priorities "are to ensure the integrity and security of U.S. government systems and networks", a spokesperson told Reuters. It added that government agencies will still be able to use Kaspersky products purchased separately from the GSA contract process, and will continue to run Kaspersky software if it is already installed.
In response to the news, the company claimed that it has become the pawn in a geopolitical game between the US and Russia, and that it hasn't done anything wrong. It added that it hadn't received any notification from the GSA, either.
"Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts," the company's press spokesperson told the RIA news agency.
They added: "By all appearances, Kaspersky Lab [has been] dragged into a geopolitical fight where each side is trying to use the company as a pawn in its game."
The delisting of Kaspersky came as the US government claimed that it was considering a broader government ban on the purchase of Kaspersky products, while last month the US Senate Armed Services Committee passed a defence spending bill that would also ban Kaspersky products from use in the military.
That was passed just one day after the FBI interviewed senior Kaspersky employees as part of a counter-intelligence investigation into its US operations, according to Reuters.
The delisting of Kaspersky from US government purchasing lists shouldn't hit the company hard, but the implication that Kaspersky is compromised in some way may have a knock-on effect, particularly among potential customers in the US.
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