US official: 15 percent of agencies used Kaspersky software

A top Homeland Security Department official says computer systems at 15 percent of U.S. government agencies were running Kaspersky Lab software that’s been banned because of concerns about the company’s ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy operations.

Kaspersky has repeatedly insisted that it does not have unethical ties or affiliations with the Russian government. But in September, the Homeland Security Department directed all agencies and departments to stop using products supplied by the Russian-owned and operated company.

Assistant Homeland Secretary Jeanette Manfra told lawmakers on Tuesday that about 94 percent of the agencies met a mid-October deadline to determine whether they were using Kaspersky products. She says 15 percent identified Kaspersky-branded products on their systems.

The software must be removed from all information systems by mid-December.