FCC puts Kaspersky on security threat list, says it poses an “unacceptable risk”

eugene kaspersky

enlarge Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and founder of Moscow-based Kaspersky, at the 2020 World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, China.

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The Federal Communications Commission on Friday effectively banned the sale of security products from Moscow-based Kaspersky because they determined they pose an unacceptable risk to US national security.

The move adds Kaspersky to the same covered list that Huawei and ZTE landed on in 2021. Headquartered in Moscow, the company founder, Eugene Kaspersky, attended a KGB-sponsored technical university and has long been accused of having ties to the Russian military and intelligence. services.

Kaspersky, which had already been banned from all US government networks, was one of three companies added to the covered list Friday. China Mobile and China Telecom were the other two.

“I am pleased that our national security agencies agree with my assessment that China Mobile and China Telecom appear to meet the threshold required to add these entities to our list,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “Their addition, as well as Kaspersky Labs, will help secure our networks against threats from Chinese and Russian state-backed entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests.”

In a statement, Kaspersky officials wrote: “Kaspersky is disappointed with the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to ban certain telecommunications-related federal subsidies to purchase Kaspersky products and services. This decision is not based on any technical assessment of Kaspersky products – which the company constantly advocates – but is instead made on political grounds.”

Ten days ago, the German Federal Office for Information Security warned companies not to use Kaspersky products. Officials hinted that the company could be forced to assist Russian intelligence agencies.

Kaspersky becomes the first security company and the first Russian entity to be added to the US security threat list. The addition comes a month after Russian forces invaded neighboring Ukraine and indiscriminately dropped bombs and other munitions on civilians. Eugene Kaspersky has repeatedly said that his company is completely independent from the Kremlin.

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