DHS won’t reverse ban on Kaspersky products, court docs show

DHS is requesting the court denies the request from Kaspersky Lab, stating that even if the BOD is overturned, the congressional ban on Kaspersky products still stands.
Homeland Security (DHS)
(U.S. Army Garrison - Miami / Flickr)

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to reverse the ban on Kaspersky products after the Russian anti-virus company sued the agency for its September 2017 directive, according to new court documents.

Last month, Kaspersky Lab filed a preliminary injunction in U.S. federal court to overturn the Binding Operational Directive (BOD) that bans the company’s anti- virus software on federal computers.

In a response to the court Tuesday, DHS is requesting the court to deny the request from Kaspersky Lab, stating that even if the BOD is overturned, the congressional ban on Kaspersky products still stands.

Aside from the directive, the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act prohibits federal agencies from using Kaspersky products. That ban goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2018.


“Any new investment in Kaspersky software would frustrate agency efforts to bring their information systems in compliance with the NDAA,” acting Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Grant Schneider said in a accompanying court filing. “It would be wasteful for an agency to purchase and install Kaspersky software into their information systems while at the same time expending resources to identify and remove Kaspersky software embedded into third party products.”

The department also wrote that Kaspersky has failed to establish necessary requirements to obtain a preliminary injunction, as well as failed to prove that it will “suffer irreparable harm” if the preliminary isn’t granted.

In September 2017, the acting secretary of the DHS, Elaine Duke, issued a BOD to order the removal of all Kaspersky products from federal computers since they posed a threat to national security.

“Rescinding the BOD would not eliminate the security concerns underlying the decision to issue the directive in the first place,” Schneider said.

Kaspersky Lab is suspected to have longstanding ties to Russian intelligence services and military. The department said whether they are willing to cooperate or not, Russian intelligence could use Kaspersky products to commit a cyber attack on the United States. For these reasons, the department said Kaspersky’s motion should be denied.


You can read DHS’s and Schneider’s filings below.

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