Monday, December 25, 2017

Russian Cybersecurity Giant Sues Trump Admin for Banning Its Software

Kaspersky Lab, Russian security software producer, has filed a U.S. federal lawsuit to overturn a Trump administration ban on use of Kaspersky's products in government networks. The plaintiff claims the move deprived the company of its due process rights. An open letter from Kaspersky Lab states that "DHS failed to provide Kaspersky Lab with adequate due process and relied primarily on subjective, non-technical public sources like uncorroborated and often anonymously sourced media reports and rumors."

In September, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive ordering civilian government agencies to remove Kaspersky software from their networks within 90 days. It came a a time when there were increasing concerns that the software could aid Russian espionage and compromise national security.

The plaintiff denies its susceptibility to Kremlin influence and claims it would never aid a government with cyber espionage. The value of Kaspersky’s software sales to the U.S. government is insignificant, less than $54,000, or about 0.03 percent of its U.S. subsidiary’s sales in the United States. But the bigger damage to the plaintiff is that the DHS has harmed Kaspersky Lab’s reputation and its commercial operations. E,g., as a result of the DHS ban, large retailers such as Best Buy have pulled Kaspersky products.

The plaintiff asks the court to overturn the ban and also declare that the company’s products do not pose a security threat to U.S. government computers. Full  text of the complaint can be found here.