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US Implements Ban on Kaspersky Software Over Alleged Russian Links

Antivirus software produced by Russian company Kaspersky has been prohibited from being sold in the US because of the company’s purported ties to the Kremlin.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated on Thursday that the company’s influence from Moscow was determined to be a serious threat to US infrastructure and services.

The “capacity and… intent of Russia to collect and weaponize the personal information of Americans,” she claimed, forced the US to act.

“Kaspersky will generally no longer be able to, among other activities, sell its software within the United States or provide updates to software already in use,” the Department of Commerce stated.

Kaspersky denied any involvement in any activity that would have endangered US security, saying instead that it planned to use “all legally available options” to oppose the ban.

US Proposes Kaspersky Inclusion in Ban on IT Transactions with ‘Foreign Adversary’ Countries

The proposal bans or restricts transactions between US companies and IT companies from “foreign adversary” countries like China and Russia by utilizing sweeping powers established by the Trump administration.

Effectively, as of September 29, the proposal prohibits the download of software updates, resale, and product licensing. Within 30 days of the announcement, new operations will also be barred.

The Commerce Department will impose sanctions on sellers and resellers who break the rules. In addition, the Commerce Department will blacklist two Kaspersky units located in Russia and one in the UK for allegedly collaborating with Russian military intelligence.

US authorities have long had the firm as a target. Because of alleged links to Russian intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security blocked the company’s flagship antivirus program from federal networks in 2017.

The Commerce Department stated that although the worldwide company has its headquarters in Moscow, it serves over 400 million consumers and 270,000 corporate clients in over 200 countries through its offices spread across 31 nations.

Classified business data indicates how many US customers are impacted.

According to a Commerce Department official cited by Reuters, it was a “significant number” that including businesses that provide power, healthcare, and telecommunications in addition to state and municipal governments.

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