The move was a hit to one of the world’s most well-known cybersecurity software. It stemmed from accusations that claimed the company had worked with the Russian government to meddle in the United States 2016 Presidential election. Officials believe that using the software is a security risk due to an incident where the Russian government stole hacking tools from an NSA employee’s personal computer.
The company’s lawsuit slammed the Department of Homeland Security for banning its software without giving them a chance to refute derogatory claims. Kaspersky believes that the ban violated the Administrative Procedure Act due to the government’s inability to gain evidence to vindicate their actions.
“The APA provides a framework by which those theories can be pursued, but the company will have to substantiate them,” Ronald Levin, a professor at Washington University, told BuzzFeed.
In November, an NSA employee admitted to taking the stolen tools home and loading them on to his computer. However, Kaspersky claims that its software detected the tools and transmitted them through Kaspersky’s servers for analysis. The suit also cites Jeanette Manfra’s testimony. In her testimony at a congressional hearing, the DHS official admitted that she did not have evidence that the company helped to breach United States government computers. Despite her confession, top intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and the NSA, vowed to discontinue use of the cybersecurity software.
The ban hurt the company’s sales and caused the causing of their Washington, DC office in December. A spokeswoman for the company said, “the opportunity for which the office was opened and staffed is no longer viable.”