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About 15 percent of U.S. agencies found Kaspersky Lab software: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – About 15 percent of U.S. government agencies have detected some trace of Russian company Kaspersky Lab’s software on their systems in a review prompted by concerns the antivirus firm is vulnerable to Kremlin influence, a security official told Congress on Tuesday.

The logo of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab is on displayat the company’s office in Moscow, Russia October 27, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for cyber security at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said that 94 percent of agencies had responded to an order to survey their networks to identify any use of Kaspersky Lab products and to remove them.

Manfra told a U.S. House of Representatives panel the DHS did “not currently have conclusive evidence” that any networks had been breached because of their use of Kaspersky software.

The administration of President Donald Trump ordered civilian U.S. agencies in September to remove Kaspersky Lab from their networks. U.S. officials are concerned that the company’s anti-virus software could be used by Russian intelligence agencies to spy on the U.S. government.

The decision represented a sharp response to what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a national security threat posed by Russia in cyberspace, following an election year marred by allegations that Moscow weaponized the internet in an attempt to influence its outcome.

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage. Moscow has denied that it sought to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The September DHS order required civilian agencies to identify any use of Kaspersky Lab products within 30 days and to discontinue their use within 90 days.

Ninety-six of 102 federal agencies have reported to DHS on whether they have found Kaspersky Lab software on their networks, Manfra told the oversight subcommittee of the House Science, Space and…

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