New York– Russian cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab has sued US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its decision to ban the Kaspersky products in federal agencies over data security.

The DHS in September said it was concerned about ties between Kaspersky Lab officials and the Russian intelligence services, directing federal departments and agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their information systems.

Kaspersky Lab later denied that it has ties to the Kremlin.

The Russian company has now filed an appeal in a federal court under the Administrative Procedure Act to enforce its constitutional due process rights and challenge the “Binding Operational Directive” prohibiting the use of the company’s products and solutions by US government agencies.

“Because Kaspersky Lab has not been provided a fair opportunity in regards to the allegations and no technical evidence has been produced to validate DHS’s actions, it is in the company’s interests to defend itself in this matter,” Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement.

“Regardless of the DHS decision, we will continue to do what really matters: make the world safer from cybercrime,” he added.

According to the company, DHS’s actions have caused undue damage to both the company’s reputation in the IT security industry and its sales in the US.

“It has unfairly called into question Kaspersky Lab’s fundamental principles of protecting its customers and combatting cyber threats, regardless of their origin or purpose,” said Kaspersky Lab.

In October, it came to light that Israeli intelligence officials actually told the US authorities about the Russian intrusion into their computers via Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus software.

According to The New York Times, Israeli intelligence officials were spying on hackers linked to the Russian government.

In the process, they broke into Kaspersky’s systems and found Russian hackers were using the anti-virus software “as a sort of Google search engine for sensitive information”.

The Israeli officials handed over screenshots and documentation of the hack to their US counterparts.

This led the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to direct federal departments and agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products. (IANS)

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