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Biden Administration Bans Kaspersky Software Over National Security Concerns

The Biden administration is set to prohibit the sale of Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software in the U.S., citing national security risks due to the company’s ties to the Russian government. This move, supported by powers established during the Trump administration, also involves placing Kaspersky on a trade restriction list, which would hinder its U.S. suppliers from conducting business with the firm. This dual action aims to mitigate potential threats of cyberattacks and espionage, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

No official comments: The Department of Commerce has declined to comment, while Kaspersky and the Russian Embassy have not responded. Kaspersky has previously asserted its independence from the Russian government, according to a report by Reuter. The planned restrictions underscore the U.S. effort to prevent cyber vulnerabilities from foreign adversaries like Russia and China. The tools being used for this ban are relatively new and were initially tested under the Trump administration against Chinese companies like TikTok and WeChat, though those efforts were blocked by federal courts.

The new rules, effective from September 29, will halt all new Kaspersky sales, updates, and resales in the U.S., with white-labeled products also being barred. The Commerce Department will inform companies prior to enforcement. The impact on Kaspersky’s international operations remains uncertain, depending on whether its foreign units are added to the entity list, which could disrupt its supply chain. Kaspersky’s business has been under scrutiny since 2017, when the Department of Homeland Security banned its products from federal networks over alleged ties to Russian intelligence. The scrutiny intensified following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Despite Kaspersky’s suggestion of mitigating measures, the Commerce Department has deemed the risks too significant to overlook. Violators of the new rules will face fines and potential criminal charges. Software users will not be penalized but are strongly encouraged to cease usage.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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