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25 July 2024

US bans Russia’s Kaspersky antivirus software

Published: 15:40, 21 June 2024

US bans Russia’s Kaspersky antivirus software

Photo : Collected

President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday (21 June) banned Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky from providing its popular antivirus products in the United States over national security concerns, the US Commerce Department said.

"Kaspersky will generally no longer be able to, among other activities, sell its software within the United States or provide updates to software already in use," the agency said in a statement.

The announcement came after a lengthy investigation found Kaspersky's "continued operations in the United States presented a national security risk due to the Russian Government's offensive cyber capabilities and capacity to influence or direct Kaspersky's operations," it said.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, "Russia has shown time and again they have the capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Kaspersky Lab, to collect and weaponize sensitive US information."

Kaspersky, in a statement to AFP, said the Commerce Department "made its decision based on the present geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns," and vowed to "pursue all legally available options to preserve its current operations and relationships."

"Kaspersky does not engage in activities which threaten US national security and has made significant contributions with its reporting and protection from a variety of threat actors that targeted US interests and allies," the company said.

The move is the first such action taken since an executive order issued under Donald Trump's presidency gave the Commerce Department the power to investigate whether certain companies pose a national security risk.

Messenger/Sourov