Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Russia-based antivirus software provider Kaspersky Lab, has accepted an invitation to testify before Congress, according to The Hill. The news comes after U.S. federal government agencies and departments earlier this week were told to remove Kaspersky Lab security software from their networks.
Republicans on the House Science Committee asked Kaspersky to testify at a subcommittee hearing on Sept. 27, The Hill reported. Committee members are expected to discuss the cybersecurity posture of the federal government and the extent to which government agencies and departments use Kaspersky Lab products, committee chairman Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) said in a prepared statement.
Kaspersky told The Hill that he intends to attendee the hearing but needs an expedited visa to ensure that he can address "the allegations about company and its products."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed Kaspersky Lab may have ties to the Russian government that could open the door to espionage activities. As such, the federal government issued a directive that agencies and departments must remove Kaspersky Lab software from their networks within 90 days.
Kaspersky has offered to meet with government officials, testify before Congress and provide the company's source code for an official audit, Kaspersky Lab said in a prepared statement. In addition, Kaspersky Lab has responded to several "inaccurate assertions" included in an op-ed published by The New York Times on Sept. 4.
No credible evidence has been presented publicly to support the inaccurate claims against Kaspersky Lab, the company indicated. Kaspersky Lab "has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage or offensive cyber efforts," the company said, and intends to provide additional information to DHS to confirm that these allegations are unfounded.
"Kaspersky Lab ardently believes a deeper examination of the company will substantiate that these allegations are without merit," Kaspersky Lab said in a prepared statement.
Over 400 million end users globally leverage Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity solutions and services, according to the company. These solutions and services are designed to protect businesses, consumers, critical infrastructure and governments against sophisticated and evolving digital threats, the company stated.
Best Buy halted Kaspersky software sales in the past week, but didn't perform any type of investigation into the company's code. In the MSP channel, partners like Kaseya continue to support Kaspersky while also offering alternative endpoint security products.