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US bans Kaspersky software | CABLE

US bans Kaspersky software |  CABLE
US bans Kaspersky software |  CABLE


Russian cybersecurity software company Kaspersky's days of operation in the United States are now officially numbered.

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it would ban the company from selling its products to new U.S.-based customers starting July 20, with the company only allowed to provide software updates to existing customers until September 29. The Commerce Department in 2019 followed years of warnings from the U.S. intelligence community that Kaspersky posed a national security threat because Moscow allegedly commandeered its ubiquitous antivirus software to spy on its customers.

When you think of national security, you might think of guns, tanks and missiles, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters at a press briefing Thursday. But the truth is, increasingly, it's about technology, dual-use technology and data.

The United States conducted an extremely thorough investigation into Kaspersky and explored all options to mitigate its risks, Raimondo said, but authorities decided on a total ban given the Russian government's continued offensive cyber capabilities and ability to influence Kasersky's operations.

The Kaspersky ban represents the latest breakdown in relations between the United States and Russia, as the latter country remains locked in a brutal war with Ukraine and takes other steps to threaten Western democracies, including testing a nuclear-powered anti-satellite weapon and forming a strategic alliance. with North Korea. But the ban could also immediately complicate business operations for U.S. companies using Kaspersky software, which will lose up-to-date antivirus definitions, essential for blocking malware, in just three months.

The Biden administration knows roughly how many customers Kaspersky has in the United States, but government lawyers have determined that this information is proprietary commercial data and cannot be released, according to a Commerce Department official, who informed journalists on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject. matter. The official said the significant number of U.S. customers includes state and local governments and organizations that provide critical infrastructure such as telecommunications, electricity and health care.

Raimondo sent a message to Kaspersky's U.S. customers on Thursday: You have done nothing wrong and are not subject to any criminal or civil penalties. However, I encourage you, in the strongest possible terms, to immediately stop using this software and switch to an alternative in order to protect yourself, your data, and your family.

Commerce will work with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to get that message out and ensure a smooth transition, including through a website explaining the ban, Raimondo said. We certainly don't want to disrupt American businesses or families.

The DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will contact critical infrastructure organizations that use Kaspersky to inform them of suspected national security risks and help them identify alternatives, the Commerce Department official said.

Kaspersky has always denied being a national security risk or an agent of the Kremlin. In a statement to WIRED, the company accused the government of making its decision based on the current geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns, rather than an overall assessment of the integrity of Kaspersky's products and services.




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