US Senate committee examines Kaspersky Lab links to Russian government

News by Tom Reeve

Reports in ABC News in America claim that the Senate intelligence committee is investigating links between Kaspersky Lab and Russia which could threaten US infrastructure, allegations the company strongly denies.

Kaspersky Lab is under investigation by US authorities for possible links to the Russian government, according to a report on ABC News in America.

The company, which is based in Russia, has faced these allegations in the past and has always strongly denied them. 

A secret memorandum, described to ABC News by congressional sources, says red flags have been raised by the Senate Intelligence Committee about Kaspersky Lab. “This is an important national security issue,” the memorandum reportedly said.

The memorandum has been sent to director of national intelligence Dan Coats and attorney general Jeff Sessions.

Kaspersky products are widely used in the US by consumers and even the Bureau of Prisons.

The memorandum follows a secret report by the Department of Homeland Security produced in February, and the FBI is also reportedly investigating the relationship between Kaspersky Lab and the Russian government.

Concerns have been raised in the past about Kaspersky Lab's connections to the Russian intelligence services. However, the company has always vigorously insisted it would never allow itself to be used as a tool of the Russian government.

In January the head of cyber-investigations at Kaspersky Lab, Ruslan Stoyanov, was arrested by Russian police on suspicion of treason. Kaspersky Lab said Stoyanov was being investigated “for a period predating his employment at Kaspersky Lab”.

In March 2015, Bloomberg BusinessWeek wrote an article claiming that Kaspersky Lab had been edging closer to the Russian government since 2012, a claim which the CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, rejected as “simply false”.

ABC News quotes several former US officials who say they have long held concerns about Kaspersky Lab, including Eric Rosenbach, a cyber-security veteran who until January was the Defense Department's chief of staff and former US deputy secretary of energy Liz Sherwood-Randall.

And last year the FBI told the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, a trade body for electric company bosses, about its concerns.

Kaspersky Lab issued a statement to SC Media UK: “As a private company, 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 has a 20 year history in the IT security industry of always abiding by the highest ethical business practices, and Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused by ‘anonymous sources' without any hard evidence to back up their false allegations.”   

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