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>> Eugene Kaspersky had a big American dream when he created Kaspersky Lab, one of the largest antivirus providers in the world. But one extremely important client has all but shunned his company, the US Government, based on suspicions the firm has ties to Russian intelligence agencies. Reuters cybersecurity reporter, Dustin Volz.
>> Because of the increased concern in the US about Russian hacking, about the interference during the election last year. And now we see the FBI and lawmakers and the Trump Administration all looking into Kaspersky more closely.>> Several years ago the company began an aggressive campaign to burnish its image in the US.
The firm underwrote programming on national public radio. Courted different government agencies, sponsored flashy conferences with high profile speakers such as Michael Flynn, President Trump's National Security Advisor, who was quickly and controversially fired from his position.>> They even created a subsidiary known as KGSS dedicated solely to trying to win these contracts with the government agencies.
>> But alleged Russian tampering in the 2016 election, has kept those suspicions in the air. On Tuesday, the government agency that manages the Federal Bureaucracy, removed Kaspersky from a list of approved vendors. There's also a bill before Congress that would explicitly bar the Defense Department from using any Kaspersky products.
And last month, FBI agents interviewed Kaspersky employees, asking whether they reported to Russian-based executives, and how much data from American customers could be seen by Russian employees. This week, Volz visited the company's subsidiary office, just outside Washington DC during normal business hours.>> And what I found was rather interesting, the office is very small.
It was closed and dark, no lights were on, and nobody was there to be found. An adjacent office, in their building, said that people do sometimes come and go, but they're very rarely seen.>> A Gaspersky spokeswomen told Reuters most of the staff, which number less than ten, often work from home.
U.S. officials have offered no public evidence to suggest the company has done anything wrong. Or that the Russian Government is using its software to launch cyber attacks. The company maintains it's being targeted for political reasons.