Tech

US bans Kaspersky software | WIRED


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

The Biden administration said Thursday company ban from selling its products to new US-based customers starting July 20, with the company only allowed to provide software updates to existing customers until the 29th September. Injunction—the first such action under the authority given to the Commerce Department in 2019—continued five warnings from the US intelligence community about Kaspersky being a national security threat because Moscow could allegedly commandeer its comprehensive anti-virus software to spy on its customers.

“When you think about national security, you probably think about guns, tanks and missiles,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters during a briefing Thursday. “But the truth is that more and more issues are related to technology, dual-use technology and data.”

Raimondo said the US had conducted an “extremely thorough” investigation into Kaspersky and explored “all options” to mitigate risks to the company, but officials had decided total ban “due to the Russian government’s continued cyberattack capabilities and ability to influence Kasersky’s operations.”

Kaspersky’s ban represents the latest rift in the relationship between the US and Russia as the latter country remained trapped in a brutal war with Ukraine and take other steps to threaten Western democracies, incl testing nuclear-powered anti-satellite weapons and form a strategic alliance with North Korea. However, the ban could also immediately complicate the business of US companies using Kaspersky software, which would lose important updated anti-virus definitions to block malware. after just three months.

According to a Commerce Department official, the Biden administration knows roughly how many Kaspersky customers are in the US, but government lawyers have determined that this information is proprietary business data and cannot be made public. dad. problem. The official said a “significant number” of American customers include state and local governments as well as organizations that provide critical infrastructure such as telecommunications, electricity and health care.

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

Raimondo said Commerce will work with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to “get this message out” and “ensure a smooth transition,” including through a website addressing liked about the ban, Raimondo said. “We certainly don’t want to disrupt any American’s business or family.”

DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will contact critical infrastructure organizations that use Kaspersky to inform them of national security risks, Commerce officials said. alleged participants and “help them identify alternative solutions.”

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 decisions based on the current geopolitical situation and theoretical concerns, rather than a comprehensive assessment of the integrity of our products.” Kaspersky products and services”.

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