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Kaspersky Lab Takes DHS Fight to the Courts

Kaspersky Lab has turned to the US courts to overturn a decision by Washington to ban the use of its products within federal government agencies.

The Russian AV vendor announced on Monday that it has filed an appeal under the Administrative Procedure Act to enforce its constitutional due process rights and challenge the Binding Operational Directive issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The firm claims the decision by the DHS is unconstitutional and relied on “subjective, non-technical public sources such as uncorroborated and often anonymously sourced media reports, related claims, and rumors.”

It says the DHS has also failed to follow due process in allowing Kaspersky Lab to rebut the allegations and hasn’t actually provided any evidence of wrongdoing.

Kaspersky Lab has always claimed its innocence and argued that it is being used as a pawn in a geopolitical dispute between the US and Russia.

The firm’s offer to provide the DHS with further info on the company, its operations, and its products has so far not been taken up by Washington.

The government’s decision appears to have been taken after Israeli intelligence claimed it observed Russian intelligence officials using Kaspersky Lab products to steal US secrets.

However, after a full investigation, the Moscow-headquartered vendor claimed that the NSA contractor in question actually downloaded pirated software containing a backdoor, before disabling the Kaspersky Lab AV running on his machine.

The secret files that were sent to the Kaspersky Lab for analysis were apparently done so because they related to previously unseen malware — developed by the NSA — but the firm claims to have deleted, and certainly not shared, them with Russian agents.

Kaspersky Lab has also launched a Global Transparency Initiative designed to offer its source code up for third party review, in another bid to appease the US government.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regards to the allegations and no technical evidence has been produced to validate DHS’s actions, it is in the company’s interests to defend itself in this matter,” said CEO Eugene Kaspersky. “Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: make the world safer from cybercrime.”

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