Thursday, 24 August 2017 08:35

White House cyber tsar warns against Kaspersky use Featured

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The cyber security co-ordinator of the White House has publicly warned against the use of software from Kaspersky Lab.

During an interview with CBS, Rob Joyce  said he did not use products from the company and advised consumers to follow his lead.

Asked by interviewer Jeff Pegue whether he would advise his family or parents to use the Kaspersky anti-virus software, Joyce replied:

"I would not. I worry that as a nation state Russia really hasn't done the right things for this country and they have a lot of control and latitude over the information that goes to companies in Russia. So I worry about that."

As iTWire reported recently, the FBI has begun briefing firms in the US private sector to give up use of Kaspersky products.

Last month, the US government removed Kaspersky products from a list of approved software suppliers for two government-wide purchasing contracts.

And there have been reports that the US Senate was set to use a provision in the National Defence Authorisation Act to look at a ban on the company's software in all federal agencies.

The move against Kaspersky Lab has come in the wake of allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections. Recently, the US approved more sanctions against Russia and Moscow retaliated by saying it would expel several hundred American diplomats.

CBS quoted Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA, as saying: "There is a connection between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence, and I'm absolutely certain that Russian intelligence would want to use that connection to their advantage."

Joyce was asked whether as cyber tsar he should do more to get the word out to the public about Kaspersky Lab products.

He replied: "I think they should look at the decisions the government is making, and then make their own decisions."

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it is in any way connected to the Russian government. It also says that the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage efforts.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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