July 24, 2024

Columbus Post

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USA: Kaspersky sales banned due to security concerns

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Security concernsThe U.S. government has banned the anti-virus program Kaspersky

Kaspersky once had a good international reputation for antivirus. But concerns that the program could be a gateway for Russian secret services are now leading to its end in the United States.

  • The US government is banning the sale and use of Russian antivirus software Kaspersky starting July 20.

  • The reason for the ban was security concerns, as the software could collect information that could be misused by the Russian government.

  • Kaspersky denies the allegations and plans to take legal action against the US decision.

The US government has banned Russian antivirus software Kaspersky. A comprehensive investigation shows that this is the only way to address national security concerns, a subsidiary of the US Commerce Department said Thursday. Kaspersky denies the allegations and wants to defend itself.

The Union Home Ministry remained tight-lipped about a possible ban in Germany. A spokesman dodged a question about whether a ban was planned before reporters in Berlin on Friday. Future results have not been announced, he said. America’s decision was noted, but they did not comment on it.

The spokesperson pointed out that the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) had already issued a warning about Kaspersky software in March 2022. A spokesperson for the EU Commission also declined to comment on the US move. It was said in Brussels that each country must decide for itself.

Sales ban in the US from July 20

In the US, the sale of Kaspersky software to companies and consumers will be banned from July 20. From September 29, Kaspersky will not be allowed to install updates – which will make the software largely ineffective against new threats. Resale thereof is also prohibited. The Office for Industry and Security explained that the transition period should give customers time to switch to other providers.

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The reason for the ban is the Russian government’s cyberattack capabilities and ability to influence Kaspersky’s operations. The company has warned that its software is capable of collecting information from US companies and citizens that could be misused by the Russian government. However, consumers and companies will not face any penalties if they continue to use Kaspersky software.

Kaspersky announces legal action

As an initial reaction, Kaspersky announced legal action to protect the business. The decision is believed to be based on “the current geopolitical environment and theoretical concerns” — and not based on an analysis of the company’s software and services. “Kaspersky does not engage in activities that threaten the national security of the United States,” online platform X said in a statement.

Kaspersky, once an internationally respected PC security specialist, has had a tough time in the West over the years. In Germany, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) warns against using the software. In the US, installation on government devices has been banned since 2017.

Why is the software banned?

The impetus for this was an episode in which the US secret service NSA’s spying software was suspected to have found its way into Kaspersky’s hands. The company said at the time that the source code was found to be a previously unknown variant of the malware on a computer and uploaded to Kaspersky servers for analysis.

According to US media reports, an employee of the US Interception Service illegally downloaded confidential software onto his personal computer running Kaspersky’s anti-virus software. After the researcher reported the discovery to the company’s boss, Eugene Kaspersky, the company confirmed that the files had been deleted. They are not shared with anyone. However, in the US, the NSA tools are thought to have ended up with the Russian secret service.

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Citing U.S. officials, the Wall Street Journal wrote at the time that Kaspersky software specifically searched for terms like “top secret” and the names of classified U.S. programs.

The BSI warned against the use of Kaspersky software in March 2022 in connection with the Russian attack on Ukraine. In such a scenario, a Russian IT manufacturer could carry out offensive operations or be used as a tool for cyber attacks without his knowledge, the authority argued. Kaspersky also objected at the time that the warning was politically motivated.

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(DPA/kle)