The department has issued a statement ordering every executive branch agency and department to identify within the next 30 days any Kaspersky products being used, make a plan to discontinue their use within 60 days, and cease using the Kaspersky products by the 90-day mark, reports TechCrunch. The reason? Homeland Security is worried about Kaspersky officials and their ties to Russian intelligence agencies. From the Homeland Security statement:
This action is based on the information security risks presented by the use of Kaspersky products on federal information systems. Kaspersky anti-virus products and solutions provide broad access to files and elevated privileges on the computers on which the software is installed, which can be exploited by malicious cyber actors to compromise those information systems. The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks. 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 U.S. national security.
Kaspersky isn’t the only company to run up against Western security fears in the age of Trump.