Shaheen Calls for Hearing on Russia’s Hack of the NSA Using Kaspersky Lab Software

October 05, 2017

(Washington, DC) — This afternoon, following a Wall Street Journal news report that Russian hackers used Kaspersky Lab software installed on a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor’s computer to steal sensitive information, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen wrote a letter to the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee requesting a hearing on the matter. Senator Shaheen is a member of the Armed Services Committee and has led efforts in Congress to ban use of Kaspersky Lab software across the federal government.

Her letter reads in part, “As you are aware, I have been concerned about the serious dangers of using Kaspersky software. That is why I included a provision in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that prohibits any department, agency, organization, or other element of the United States Government from using hardware, software, or services developed or provided, in whole or in part, by Kaspersky Lab or any entity of which Kaspersky Lab has a majority ownership,” said Shaheen. “I urge you to expeditiously schedule a hearing to receive testimony from administration officials, including NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers, about the nature of this security breach and what the federal government is doing to prevent future incidents.”

Earlier this afternoon, Senator Shaheen issued the following statement on the NSA:

“This development should serve as a stark warning, not just to the federal government, but to states, local governments, and the American public, of the serious dangers of using Kaspersky software,” said Shaheen. “The strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are extremely alarming and have been well-documented for some time. It’s astounding and deeply disturbing that the Russian government continues to have this tool at their disposal to harm the United States. It’s unfortunate that there has not been a more expedited and coordinated effort at the federal level to remove this glaring national security vulnerability. The recent order to remove Kaspersky from all federal infrastructure is absolutely necessary, however, the Trump administration should take further steps, including declassifying information on Kaspersky lab to raise awareness. It’s a disservice to the public and our national security to continue withholding this information. In the Senate, I’ll continue to urge Congress and this administration to bolster our cyber defenses against the ever-present Russian threat.”

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to ban use of Kaspersky Lab software from across the federal government. In June, Senator Shaheen added an amendment to the yearly defense authorization bill to ban Kaspersky Lab software from the Department of Defense. Last month, she added an additional amendment to the bill, which passed the Senate, to ban the Kremlin-linked software from the entire federal government. Heeding her call, the Trump administration ordered that the Moscow-based software company be removed from federal agencies within 90 days. Senator Shaheen recently authored an editorial for the New York Times, warning of the dangers of the United States government using Kaspersky Lab products, which can be read here

You can read her letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee here.