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Why Facebook removed Kaspersky from list of anti-virus offerings to users

Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied concerns among U.S. security officials that the software could enable Russian espionage

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

Congress asks US agencies for Kaspersky Lab cyber documents
A file photo of the headquarters of Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Labs in Moscow. Photo: Reuters

last year removed Moscow-based Lab from its list of anti-virus offerings to users who go to the social media site from a computer that may be infected with malicious code, the company told Congress on Thursday.

said it no longer provided Kasperky Lab as an antivirus option but that it was "unable to easily reconstruct how many users downloaded software."

Lab has repeatedly denied concerns among U. S. security officials that the software could enable Russian espionage. It has also denied ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage.

A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday's release of Facebook's written responses to questions from the U. S. Senate Intelligence Committee dated Jan. 8.

"In October 2017, we removed Kaspersky's anti-virus software from the list of products that we make available to these users," wrote in responses released by the panel from Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet's Google following the companies' congressional testimony last November about Russian attempts to use their platforms to spread disinformation during the 2016 U. S. election.

Moscow denies U.

S. intelligence agency conclusions that it interfered in the election by launching a campaign of hacking political party networks and spreading disinformation through social media sites. Several congressional panels and a special counsel are investigating.

U. S. President Donald Trump in December signed into law legislation that bans the use of Lab software within the U. S. government, capping a months-long effort to purge the firm from federal agencies amid concerns it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

said it was also in the process of "phasing out internal use of a different antivirus product" that does not transmit data back to Kasperky Lab. It did not name the product.

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 08:15 IST
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