US government bans sales of Kaspersky security software

Image credit: Kaspersky (Image credit: Kaspersky)

Sales of software by Russia security giant Kaspersky Lab will be banned in the US, the Biden administration has declared.

Kaspersky Labs was widely known as a major player in the cybersecurity industry, leading the way across the consumer and business markets.

However, since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the wider war between Ukraine and Russia, Kaspersky has  increasingly lost its reputation in the West amid concerns that the company could be passing sensitive information to Russian intelligence services.

Genuine or geopolitical concerns?

Among the main concerns cited by the Biden administration are in the privileged levels of access granted to Kaspersky solutions that could be used to commit sabotage and espionage against western computer systems, especially as some Kaspersky solutions are used to protect critical infrastructure at both local and state levels.

Speaking on the announcement, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, “Russia has shown it has the capacity and ... the intent to exploit Russian companies like Kaspersky to collect and weaponize the personal information of Americans and that is why we are compelled to take the action that we are taking today.”

Kaspersky responded to the announcement stating that the company did not pose a threat to US national security, and that the company will be pursuing legal routes to continue operating in the US.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “We would never give an adversarial nation the keys to our networks or devices, so it's crazy to think that we would continue to allow Russian software with the deepest possible device access to be sold to Americans.”

The ban will come into force on the 29th of September, and from this date the download, update, licensing and resale of Kaspersky products will be banned. Products that integrate Kaspersky software will also be banned. This deadline gives companies the opportunity to find alternative solutions, so it may be worth taking a look at the best SMB firewall or the best business VPNs.

The US has made a number of allegations against Kaspersky’s links to Russian intelligence, including allegations that Kaspersky Lab passed hacking tools to the Russian government after stealing them from a US National Security Agency worker.

Via Reuters

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.