US Banning Sales of Kaspersky Antivirus Software in the Country

US Banning Sales of Kaspersky Antivirus Software in the Country

( – The federal Department of Commerce is officially banning the US subsidiary for Kaspersky Lab from selling and updating its popular antivirus software domestically, citing national security concerns.

Tom’s Guide reported that the ban is set to take effect on July 20, although existing customers can still update the software until September 29. Officials at the Commerce Department expressed concerns that Kaspersky Lab, which is based in Russia, could be used by the Kremlin to spy on American citizens, businesses, and governing bodies.

The ban comes as tensions continue to rise between Washington DC and Moscow. Russian officials and its allies have already threatened the US and many of its allies after they provided munitions and funding to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia. The tensions were elevated after a group of Russian hackers claimed responsibility for a recent ransomware cyber attack against the Federal Reserve. Russian officials and hackers have allegedly orchestrated other significant cyber attacks against the west as well.

The ban does come with certain, strict provisions that will allow some operations to continue as users search for alternative antivirus software.

Kaspersky Lab criticized the ban and accused the Commerce Department of basing its decision on politics rather than an actual audit of its platform. However, officials with the Commerce Department cited “undue” and “unacceptable” risks in allowing a Russian company to continue providing a service that could mine crucial data. They also acknowledged Russia’s ability to conduct significant cyber attacks against the US and the legal hold they maintain over Kaspersky Lab.

It was also noted by officials with the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) that the company must comply with any information request submitted by the Russian government. It was discovered that Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software allegedly has the ability to download malware onto the devices used by its users. It can also specify who should and shouldn’t receive crucial updates.

Kaspersky Lab responded by saying that it has never worked against the national security interests of the United States. In fact, they claim that their efforts have bolstered the US’s defenses against cyber attacks, thus improving its overall national security.

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