U.S. Government Bans Use of Kaspersky Security Software in Federal Agencies

The U.S. Government, Best Buy, and Office Depot All Suspend Business with the Software Giant

Kaspersky could lose all its federal contracts within a few months, after the U.S. government issued a stern directive concerning the company’s possible involvement in state-sponsored cyber espionage.

Last week the government issued a binding directive that federal civilian agencies identify Kaspersky software on their networks, and remove it after 90 days, unless otherwise directed.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “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,” DHS said in a statement. “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.”

The directive comes months after the federal General Services Administration, the agency in charge of government purchasing, removed Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors.

In a recent blog, we noted that the U.S. government was concerned about Kaspersky’s possible ties to Russia’s spying apparatus and the possible spying activities of Kaspersky employees in the United States.

Kaspersky entered the media spotlight earlier this year following the Justice Department’s investigation into whether the Russian government colluded with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Last week, Kaspersky said in a statement that it “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 the company.”

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It also said that the Russian law requiring assistance does not apply to the company.

“Kaspersky Lab has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts, and it’s disconcerting that a private company can be considered guilty until proven innocent, due to geopolitical issues,” Kaspersky said. “The company looks forward to working with DHS, as Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will substantiate that these allegations are without merit.”

The department gave Kaspersky 90 days to prove its products are not a security risk or to mitigate the concerns.

“We’ve determined that [Kaspersky software] poses an unacceptable amount of risk based on our assessment,” Christopher Krebs, a senior DHS official told the Washington Post. “If they want to provide additional information or mitigation strategies, our door is open.”

The bad news for the company has rolled over into the commercial space, with retailer Best Buy suspending sales of Kaspersky software, noted an article in thehill.com.

Kaspersky confirmed it had parted ways with Best Buy in a statement emailed to thehill.com.

“Kaspersky Lab and Best Buy have suspended their relationship at this time; however, the relationship may be re-evaluated in the future,” the software firm said. “Kaspersky Lab has enjoyed an almost decade-long partnership with Best Buy and its customer base, and the company will continue to offer its industry-leading cybersecurity solutions to consumers through its website and other retailers.”

Looking to remove Kaspersky from your device? Follow our 7 easy steps to uninstall Kaspersky Software here.

Posted by ORIGINALLY by VIPRE

The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses about bogus emails

The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses about bogus emails claiming to be from the BBB.

The Bureau says these emails are not coming from the BBB and are part of a widespread phishing attack.

The BBB says they’ve received hundreds of inquires about the bogus emails.

The email claims the business is in violation of either the Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act or has a BBB complaint.

The link asks you to download a document for more information, but the BBB says to not click on it, as it may download malware onto your computer.

The BBB says to follow these steps if you get the email:

1. Do NOT click on any links or attachments.
2. Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammar, generic greetings such as “Dear member” instead of a name, BBB internal department names that do not seem familiar, etc.).
3. Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as “Click on the link or your account will be closed.”
4. Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is truly from bbb.org. The URL in the text should match the URL that your mouse detects. If the two do not match, it is most likely a scam.
5. Send a copy of the email to phishing@council.bbb.org (Note: This address is only for scams that use the BBB name or logo)
6. Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your “trash can” or “recycling bin,” as well).
7. Run anti-virus software updates frequently and do a full system scan.
8. Keep a close eye on your bank statements for any unexpected or unexplained transactions.

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