Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm, was the focus of a House Science Committee hearing on Wednesday. This gave us all the opportunity to watch members of Congress struggle to pronounce "Kaspersky," as you can see in the video above.
The firm has come under fire in recent months, particularly after the Wall Street Journal reported on allegations that the Russian government was able to steal National Security Agency secrets in 2015 by exploiting the Kaspersky antivirus software on a government contractor’s personal computer. The company has denied any collusion with the Kremlin’s hackers, though CEO Eugene Kaspersky admitted to the Associated Press on Wednesday that the antivirus software had inadvertently scraped classified info from U.S. government computers.
The NSA discovered the breach in spring based on a tip from Israeli intelligence. In September, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would be purging its department of Kaspersky products and services.
It doesn’t seem as if too much was accomplished in the House hearing, however. According to CyberScoop, no significant information or insights were revealed. The witnesses came from the General Services Administration, the National Institute of Standard and Technology, and private companies. No representatives from Kaspersky, the Department of Homeland Security, the NSA, or the White House offered any testimony. At the end of the hearing, Illinois Rep. Darin LaHood noted that the committee will further investigate the issue and likely schedule additional hearings.
Hopefully they’ll practice before the next hearing.