Cybersecurity officials urge Purdue community to wipe any Kaspersky Lab products off their computers 

On Oct. 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that Russian hackers stole documents from the NSA, in part because the NSA computers had Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus software installed.

Even before that report, in mid-September, the federal government removed all Kaspersky software from its computers because the F.B.I. is investigating the Russia-based company for possible espionage.

At Purdue, cybersecurity officials are warning users against having the Kaspersky software on either their work or personal computers.

“The federal government very rarely takes the step of an outright ban on a company or product,” says Mary Millsaps, Purdue’s research information assurance officer for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships. “The fact that they have in this case is a strong indication that they believe these products present a danger to federal information.”

Purdue had over $240 million dollars of research funded by federal awards in the last fiscal year alone, according to Millsaps.

That’s a big reason why she and Greg Hedrick, Purdue’s chief information security officer, says faculty, staff and students have to consider the security of the federal information on Purdue’s networks as well as the University’s, and their personal, information.

“We strongly encourage everyone, but especially those with federal research grants, to avoid or get rid of any Kaspersky Lab software,” Hedrick says. “The risk of leaked data, from Purdue, the federal government or your own, isn’t worth it.”

Visit the Secure Purdue website for alternative, free anti-virus software downloads.

Writer: Kirsten Gibson, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8190, gibson33@purdue.edu 

Last updated: October 6, 2017

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