FBI agents on Tuesday paid visits to at least a dozen employees of Kaspersky Lab, a Russia-based cyber-security company, asking questions about that company’s operations as part of a counter-intelligence inquiry, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
There is no indication at this time that the inquiry is part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion.
Kaspersky has long been of interest to the U.S. government. Its cyber-security software is widely used in the United States, and its billionaire owner, Eugene Kaspersky, has close ties to some Russian intelligence figures, according to U.S. officials.
FBI agents told employees they were not in trouble, and that the bureau was merely gathering facts about how Kaspersky works, including to what extent the U.S. operations ultimately report to Moscow.