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Biden Implements Ban on Kaspersky Software Sales in the US Due to Russia Ties

The Biden administration has banned the sale of Kaspersky antivirus software in the United States due to worries about Russia's influence over the corporation. Kaspersky's privileged access to computer systems increases the risk of stealing sensitive information or installing viruses. Russia's ability and purpose to use Russian corporations like Kaspersky to acquire and weaponize Americans' personal information is a major basis for the ban.


The decision is the consequence of worries about Moscow's control over the corporation, which poses a serious risk to vital infrastructure providers, state and municipal governments, and American computer systems.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo claimed that Kaspersky's privileged access to computer networks could result in the theft of sensitive information or the installation of malware. The company's ability to withhold critical updates further enhances the threat it poses.

Raimondo emphasised that Russia has demonstrated its capacity and intent to exploit Russian companies like Kaspersky for collecting and weaponising the personal information of Americans.

Kaspersky Lab and the Russian Embassy have not responded to requests for comment. However, Kaspersky has previously stated that it is a privately managed company with no ties to the Russian government.

Under the new rule, which utilises powers created by the Trump administration, three units of Kaspersky Lab will be added to a trade restriction list. This move will deal a blow to the company's reputation and potentially impact its overseas sales.

The Biden administration's actions reflect its commitment to mitigating the risks of Russian cyberattacks associated with Kaspersky software. As the conflict in Ukraine intensifies and the United States faces limitations on imposing fresh sanctions on Russia, the administration is utilising its authority to restrict transactions between U.S. firms and tech companies from "foreign adversary" nations like Russia and China.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emphasised the importance of not allowing adversarial nations access to American networks or devices. He stated that it is illogical to continue selling Russian software with deep device access to Americans.

The new restrictions on inbound sales of Kaspersky software will come into effect on September 29, 100 days after publication. This will include a ban on software updates, resales, and licensing of the product. Sales of white-labeled products integrating Kaspersky will also be prohibited.

The Commerce Department will designate two Russian and one UK-based Kaspersky divisions for allegedly working with Russian military intelligence. This decision significantly limits the company's activities and ability to obtain goods from American suppliers.

Kaspersky has been under regulatory scrutiny for some years. The Department of Homeland Security banned its antivirus programme from federal networks in 2017 because of potential ties to Russian intelligence. According to media sources, Kaspersky was also involved in collecting hacking tools from a National Security Agency employee, which were eventually handed over to the Russian government.

The pressure on Kaspersky's US business increased following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The United States government discreetly cautioned American corporations about Moscow's possible exploitation of Kaspersky software to wreak harm.

Sellers and resellers who breach the new limits may face Commerce Department fines, and the Justice Department may pursue criminal charges against those who deliberately break the prohibition. While software users will not face legal consequences, they will be strongly encouraged to quit using Kaspersky products.

Kaspersky, which has a British holding company and offices in Massachusetts, reported a revenue of $752 million in 2022 from over 220,000 business clients in over 200 countries. Customers include Italian vehicle manufacturer Piaggio, Volkswagen's retail subsidiary in Spain, and the Qatar Olympic Committee.

  • The Biden administration bans the sale of Kaspersky antivirus software in the US due to concerns over Russia's influence on the company.

  • Kaspersky's privileged access to computer systems poses a risk of stealing sensitive information or installing malware.

  • Russia's capacity and intent to exploit Russian companies like Kaspersky for collecting and weaponising personal information of Americans is a key reason for the ban.


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