US President Donald Trump signed legislation officially banning the federal government’s use of software made by Kaspersky Labs.
The ban has been in the works for several months, following a Department of Homeland Security directive to remove Kaspersky products from federal systems. DHS alleged that Kaspersky had suspicious ties with Russian intelligence agencies, and the Wall Street Journal reported in October that Kaspersky’s anti-virus software had been used by hackers to identify and steal classified files from an NSA contractor’s computer. The US government has not publicly released evidence to support its allegations against Kaspersky.
The ban signed by Trump is part of a defence spending bill and will prevent Kaspersky products from being installed on government networks.
Kaspersky has repeatedly denied any ties with Russian intelligence, or with any other government, and said that it would not help steal files from a customer. The company offered to open-source its code so that it could be inspected for elements of espionage capabilities.
In a statement to Reuters, the company said it has “serious concerns” about the new law because it is based on a “geographic-specific approach to cybersecurity.”
With the US government ban on Kaspersky looming, the company announced this week that it is closing its offices near Washington, DC because its business there is “no longer viable.”