THE FBI IS REPORTEDLY URGING companies in the private sector to stop using Kaspersky software as it is "an unacceptable threat to national security".
However, in a statement to the INQUIRER, Kaspersky roundly rejected the claims carried in media over the weekend, and asserted that it "doesn't have inappropriate ties with any government".
The FBI briefings have been running since the beginning of 2017, with companies in the energy sector, particularly nuclear power, and those using industrial control and SCADA systems prioritised by the FBI.
"Additionally, the FBI has briefed large US tech companies that have working partnerships or business arrangements with Kaspersky on products — from routers to virtual machines — that touch a wide range of American businesses and civilians," claims the report in online magazine CyberScoop.
It's unclear exactly what intelligence or proof the FBI claims to have, while in a statement to CyberScoop, Kaspersky claimed that the accusations came from "disgruntled, former company employees" and added that their claims were "meritless".
According to CyberScoop, the FBI briefings have been met with mixed results, with energy, infrastructure and companies using ISC and SCADA systems more receptive than technology companies, where the FBI's claims have been met with scepticism.
In its statement to INQ, Kaspersky claimed that it was "extremely disappointing" that the FBI would take such action against a "law-abiding and ethical company like Kaspersky Lab".
"The company doesn't have inappropriate ties with any government, which is why no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization to back up the false allegations made against Kaspersky Lab.
"The only conclusion seems to be that Kaspersky Lab, a private company, is caught in the middle of a geopolitical fight, and it's being treated unfairly even though the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts.
"Kaspersky Lab has always acknowledged that it provides appropriate products and services to governments around the world to protect those organisations from cyberthreats, but it does not have unethical ties or affiliations with any government, including Russia."
It pointed out that more than 85 per cent of the company's revenues come from outside of Russia, which would make any inappropriate ties with the Russian government potentially detrimental to the company's financial health.
"CEO Eugene Kaspersky has repeatedly offered to meet with government officials, testify before the US Congress and provide the company's source code for an official audit to help address any questions the U.S. government has about the company, but Kaspersky Lab has only received a general reply from one agency at this time.
"The company simply wants the opportunity to answer any questions and assist all concerned government organisations with any investigations, as Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will confirm that these allegations are completely unfounded." µ
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