Biden Bans Kaspersky Software in the US Over Russian Ties, Citing Security Concerns

By Thea Felicity

Jun 20, 2024 10:34 AM EDT

A view of the headquarters of Kaspersky Lab, Russia's leading antivirus software development company, in Moscow on October 25, 2017.
(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration to ban the sale of Kaspersky Lab's antivirus software in the United States, according to a source cited by Reuters. The decision cites concerns over the company's close ties to the Russian government and the potential risk it poses to US critical infrastructure providers and state and local governments.

Earlier this year, VCPost reported that the US government has begun to distrust tech giants such as Microsoft, particularly due to instances where Russian hackers frequently bypass their security measures, often targeting government accounts.

The administration believes that Kaspersky software's deep access to computer systems could be exploited to steal sensitive information, install malware, or withhold critical updates. 

The new rule will also include adding Kaspersky to a trade restriction list, which could impact its reputation and potentially affect its international sales.

READ MORE: Joe Biden Signs Law Banning Uranium Imports From Russia to Revive America's Nuclear Fuel Industry

Kaspersky Sale Ban in the US

The specifics of the sales ban, which will take effect on September 29, 100 days after publication, will prevent downloads of software updates, resales, and licensing of Kaspersky products. 

New US business with Kaspersky will be blocked 30 days after the restrictions are announced.

Should Kaspersky's foreign subsidiaries that depend on substantial input from the US be included in the entity list, it could severely disrupt Kaspersky's supply chain. On the other hand, if only Kaspersky, the Russian entity, were listed, the impact would primarily affect its reputation rather than its operational capabilities. 

The Commerce Department has declined to comment on the matter, and Kaspersky Lab and the Russian Embassy have not responded to requests for comment. Kaspersky has previously asserted it operates as a privately managed company with no ties to the Russian government.

According to Yahoo Finance, Kaspersky remains a major player in the cybersecurity industry, generating $752 million in revenue in 2022 and serving a large client base globally.

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