Federal agencies in the US have 90 days to wipe Kaspersky software from their computers. Officials are concerned about the Russian company's ties to the Kremlin and possible threats to national security.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has ordered government agencies to remove products made by Russian company Kaspersky Labs from their computers.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Wednesday it was concerned that the cybersecurity firm was susceptible to pressure from Moscow and thus a potential threat to national security.
DHS said in a statement that it was "concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies," as well as Russian laws that might compel Kaspersky to hand over information to the government.
But the makers of the popular anti-virus software have said "no credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions."
US tech retailer Best Buy confirmed earlier Wednesday that it would no longer sell Kaspersky products, but has declined to give further details on the decision.
Ties between Kaspersky, Kremlin 'alarming'
Civilian government agencies have 90 days to completely remove Kaspersky software from their computers. The products have already been banned in the Pentagon.
US congressional leaders have applauded the move. Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said the "strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are alarming and well-documented," and asked the DHS if the company's products were used for any critical infrastructure, such as for voting systems, banks and energy supply.
Although Kaspersky Labs was founded by a KGB-trained entrepreneur, Eugene Kaspersky, and has done work for Russian intelligence, the company has repeatedly denied carrying out espionage on behalf of President Vladimir Putin and his government.
es/cmk (AP, Reuters)