Russian cybersecurity company Kapersky Lab is under fire as a U.S. congressional panel requests 22 internal government agencies share information on the firm.
According to an exclusive report in Reuters, U.S. lawmakers are concerned Kaspersky Lab's products could be used to conduct "nefarious activities against the United States." The comments were made via letters sent by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology and reviewed by Reuters.
The allegations are the latest blow to Kaspersky Lab, a company which has been in defense mode countering claims by U.S. government officials that it could be under influence by the Russian government.
Reuters reported the U.S. committee wants the agencies to provide documents and communications about the security company’s products dating back to January 1, 2013. The committee also requested a list of the internal computer systems using Kaspersky products, as well as any U.S. government contractors and subcontractors that employ Kapersky Lab's software.
The congressional panel "is concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage or other nefarious activities against the United States," wrote the panel's Republican chairman, Lamar Smith, according to Reuters.
Among the agencies requested to submit documentation on the cybersecurity company are the Department of Commerce (DoC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). An aide to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology told Reuters the letters are the first step and, depending on the results, more action could follow.
The agencies were asked to respond by August 11, 2017.
Suspicions about cybercrime and Kaspersky Lab's ties to the Russian government increased after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and, more recently, when the U.S. intelligence community determined Russia may have interfered with the 2016 U.S. election.