US Bans Kaspersky Antivirus Software over Security Concerns

| Updated on 24 June 2024
Kaspersky Antivirus software

The US government announced on Thursday that it is banning the sale of Kaspersky software in the country. They also advised the users to switch to a different software provider. 

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said that it has executed the first of its kind ban in this space. They argue that Kaspersky threatens US national security and users’ privacy because the company is operated from Russia. 

US Commerce Secretary Gian Raimondo said in a call with reporters, “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. And that’s why we are compelled to take the action that we’re taking today.”

Under the ban, the US government will block the sale of the Kaspersky software in the US to new customers from July 20. They are also banning the antivirus software makers from pushing further software updates and malware signatures to the existing customers from September 29 this year. 

Raimondo also said that the company is at the mercy of Putin, and with its software installed in millions of American computers, the company could be ordered to be forced to look into those systems by the Russian government. 

Here is the official statement from the US government. In this statement, they revealed some details about the investigations into the company. Here is what they found. 

“… the company’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 – that could not be addressed through mitigation measures short of a total prohibition.”

This move from the Biden administration comes after years of concerns over Russian cyberattacks and manipulation. 

The US Department of Homeland Security had already banned the software for federal networks in 2017, citing the ties of the company with Russian Intelligence.

Alap Naik Desai

Tech Journalist

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