HomeWinBuzzer NewsU.S. Bans Kaspersky Software Over National Security Concerns

U.S. Bans Kaspersky Software Over National Security Concerns

Inquiries into Kaspersky's activities have shown persistent cyber threats emanating from Russia, leading to the complete prohibition.

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The United States has imposed a full ban on Kaspersky , citing security concerns related to the company's Russian roots. The measure, instituted by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, is designed to mitigate potential risks and safeguard national data.

Concerns Over National Security

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo emphasized the risks associated with Kaspersky, noting that Russian agencies could manipulate the software to harvest sensitive data from American users. Raimondo's statements reflect an ongoing priority to enhance national measures.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to a whole-of-government approach to protect our and out-innovate our adversaries,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. has shown time and again they have the capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Lab, to collect and weaponize sensitive U.S. information, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to safeguard U.S. national security and the American people. Today's action, our first use of the Commerce Department's ICTS authorities, demonstrates Commerce's role in support of our national defense and shows our adversaries we will not hesitate to act when they use their technology poses a risk to United States and its citizens.”

Starting July 20, Kaspersky will be restricted from offering its products to American consumers and enterprises. Despite this, the company will be permitted to provide updates for existing users until September 29. After this period, updates will cease, potentially weakening the software's effectiveness. Users are being encouraged to shift to other security solutions promptly.

Historical Background and Past Actions

The ban is the latest in a string of measures against Kaspersky by U.S. authorities. Back in 2017, the Trump administration prohibited federal agencies from using Kaspersky's software due to espionage fears.

Earlier reports implicated the software in Russian cyber activities targeting classified U.S. data. Discussions about this ban had been ongoing since last year, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Implications for Users and Infrastructure

Though Kaspersky has a vast user base globally, including 400 million individuals and 240,000 organizations, the exact number of U.S. users remains undisclosed. However, the Commerce Department´s Bureau of Industry and Security noted that numerous critical infrastructure entities and local governments in the U.S. employ Kaspersky's services.

“Kaspersky has the ability to use its products to install malicious software on U.S. customers' computers or to selectively deny updates, leaving U.S. persons and critical infrastructure vulnerable to malware and exploitation.”

Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department plan to assist American users in navigating this transition.

Support During Transition

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will be contacting critical infrastructure entities currently using Kaspersky software to facilitate their switch to alternative solutions. The Commerce Department has not pinpointed a specific event that prompted the ban, focusing instead on general .

Geopolitical Context

The Biden administration's measure, derived from the 2019 authorities granted to the Commerce Department, reflects growing concerns about technology and data security. Comprehensive investigations into Kaspersky's operations highlighted ongoing from Russia, culminating in the decision to ban the company completely.

This prohibition emerges amidst escalating tensions between the U.S. and Russia, exacerbated by the latter's conflict with Ukraine and other aggressive actions. The ban could significantly affect American companies dependent on Kaspersky software, as essential updates will no longer be available after September 29.

Company Response and Future Steps

Kaspersky has refuted allegations of being a security threat, accusing the U.S. of acting on geopolitical motives rather than objective assessments of their products. The company plans to pursue legal avenues to continue its U.S. operations.

The ban follows a 2019 executive order permitting the Commerce Secretary to limit IT transactions involving foreign adversaries. The official directive cites Kaspersky's potential ties to Russian military and intelligence services. The Commerce Department intends to closely monitor the situation post-September 29 to ensure the ban's enforcement.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.