us government regulators tagged Kaspersky as a potential threat to national security, saying the company's close ties to the Kremlin could allow it to leverage its software for surveillance and espionage. Since the US government began scrutinizing Kaspersky Lab, reports indicate that the company's sales to USA commercial customers and consumers have fallen.
Kaspersky has fired back at the 'completely unfounded allegations' and said that "no credible evidence has been presented" and that the 'accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions'.
The company had denied the allegations even then and said it had not helped any government in the world with cyber-espionage efforts.
The U.S. said it would give Kaspersky an opportunity to address its concerns in writing.
"We've determined that [Kaspersky software] poses an unacceptable amount of risk based on our assessment", said Christopher Krebs, a senior DHS official in the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
The officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiries are classified, would not provide details of the information they have collected on Kaspersky.
The Homeland Security announcement Wednesday is the latest blow for the Russian firm in the U.S.
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The directive from the USA government comes as various US law enforcement and intelligence agencies and several congressional committees are investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The order applies only to civilian government networks, not the military's.
While Kaspersky continues to deny any relationship with the Russian government, emails obtained by Bloomberg earlier this year show how it developed software for the Federal Security Service (FSB), one of the intelligence agencies that allegedly attempted to influence the United States election.
Other experts, however, suggested that consumers should also uninstall Kaspersky software to avoid any potential risks. Many had been left to speculate about the risks of sticking with the company or abandoning taxpayer-funded contracts, sometimes at great cost.
Eric O'Neill, Carbon Black national security strategist and former Federal Bureau of Investigation counter-terrorism operative, argued that the Russian government's increasingly aggressive moves in cyberspace were to blame for the decision. Mr Kaspersky's background - he was educated at a KGB-backed technical college and briefly worked for a Russian defence ministry scientific institute - has long given rise to suspicions about his loyalties despite his denials.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that since the election, questions have intensified about federal information networks use of the Russian company's software. The concerns mounted in recent months, and DHS officials saw an opportunity to take action.
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