U.S. Bans Security Software Firm Kaspersky Over Russia Ties

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U.S. Bans Security Software Firm Kaspersky Over Russia Ties

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  • Andrea Miliani

    Written by: Andrea Miliani Tech Writer

  • Kate Richards

    Fact-Checked by Kate Richards Content Manager

The United States government issued a ban on the cybersecurity and antivirus software company Kaspersky due to its ties to the Kremlin and the possibility it could steal sensitive information from U.S. citizens.

Today, the Department of Commerce issued a final determination—a concluding decision document—with details of the case and forbidding Kaspersky to sell and provide its services in the country, to engage in any new business agreements with American companies, and for customers to stop using its services as well.

“The Department finds that Kaspersky’s provision of cybersecurity and anti-virus software to U.S. persons, including through third-party entities that integrate Kaspersky cybersecurity or anti-virus software into commercial hardware or software, poses undue and unacceptable risks to U.S. national security and to the security and safety of U.S. persons,” states the document.

Customers have almost a hundred days, until September 29, to change cybersecurity service providers and cut commercial links to the company. However, the Department of Commerce clarified that educational, training, and other threat intelligence products will not be affected.

Kaspersky, on the other hand, considered the U.S. government’s decision “unjustified and baseless.” Through a public statement shared on its website, the company acknowledged the ban and considered it a resolution “based on the present geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns, rather than on a comprehensive evaluation of the integrity of the company’s products and operations.”

“Neither Kaspersky nor its management team has any ties to any government, and we consider the allegations quoted by the OFAC as pure speculation, which lacks concrete evidence of a threat posed to U.S. national security,” it states.

According to Reuters, during briefing a call with reporters, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo explained that Russia has shown interest and proven its capacity in gaining access to Americans’ information through companies like Kaspersky and they were forced to take immediate action.

The U.S. government and its agencies—like the FBI— have been taking multiple actions against Russian cyber threats recently.

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