Biden Administration Prohibits Kaspersky Citing National Security Concerns

  |  Source: 
BleepingComputer & Bureau of Industry & Security

Biden Administration Prohibits Kaspersky Citing National Security Concerns

The Biden administration has announced a decision to ban Kaspersky antivirus software in the U.S., citing national security risks due to potential exploitation by the Russian government. This move is part of a broader effort to safeguard American information systems and data from foreign threats. According to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the ban affects all transactions involving Kaspersky products and services. This is due to the firm’s compliance with Russian law, which could lead to the compromise of sensitive U.S. data. Customers have until September 29, 2024, to transition to other security software solutions. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo emphasized the necessity of the ban, stating, "Russia has shown time and again they have the capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Kaspersky Lab, to collect and weaponize sensitive U.S. information, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to safeguard U.S. national security and the American people." This statement underscores the administration's stance that protecting national security justifies stringent measures against Kaspersky, whose products have been under scrutiny.

In response to the ban, Kaspersky has expressed disappointment and disagreement with the decision. In a statement shared with BleepingComputer, Kaspersky argues that the decision is based more on geopolitical tensions than the actual security of their products. The company highlighted its willingness to have its security products independently verified and criticized the decision for resulting in less choice for consumers and potentially harming international cybersecurity cooperation. Kaspersky maintains that it does not engage in any activities threatening U.S. national security and emphasizes its contributions to combating cyber threats globally. "Kaspersky has implemented significant transparency measures that are unmatched by any of its cybersecurity industry peers to demonstrate its enduring commitment to integrity and trustworthiness. The Department of Commerce’s decision unfairly ignores the evidence," says Kaspersky.

The ban not only ceases the sale of Kaspersky’s cybersecurity products but also restricts the company from providing any updates or maintaining its Kaspersky Security Network. This could leave current users without critical security support if they do not switch by the deadline.

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