Biden puts a bullet in Kaspersky: Sales, updates to be banned in America

3 weeks ago 26

Breaking news The Biden administration has banned the sale of Kaspersky software in the United States, arguing the Russian biz is a national security risk.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the crackdown today during a call with reporters. She said Uncle Sam will outlaw the sale of Kaspersky Lab products and services in America from July 20 – and will also prohibit the antivirus maker from distributing software updates and malware signatures to customers in the US after September 29.

Raimondo said Kaspersky, being based in Moscow, is basically at the mercy of Putin, and with its tools installed all over American computers, the antivirus maker could ironically enough be ordered or forced to act as a conduit into those systems by the Kremlin.

"Russia has shown it has the capacity, and even more than that, the intent to exploit Russian companies like Kaspersky to collect and weaponize the personal information of Americans," Raimondo told reporters.

In an official statement, the US government said as a result of investigations, it found that:

Not only that but we're told three organizations – AO Kaspersky Lab and OOO Kaspersky Group (Russia), and Kaspersky Labs Limited (United Kingdom) – have been added to the US government's Entity List, which will make it difficult to impossible for Americans to do any legal business with the trio.

That move was made due to the three's "cooperation with Russian military and intelligence authorities in support of the Russian Government’s cyber intelligence objectives."

Kaspersky has yet to respond to The Register's request for comment.

In one month's time, Kaspersky cannot enter into any contracts with new US-based customers. Existing users will have until the start of October to find new security and antivirus providers or be left using unsupported software.

Any sellers or resellers found in violation of the ban could face fines or criminal prosecution.

This is breaking news. We'll update here with a full story in due course.

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