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Washington May Ban Russia-Based Kaspersky Labs

Report comes on heels of Bloomberg claims the cybersecurity firm has worked closely with Russia’s main spy agency.

12 July 2017

The Trump administration could act within days to remove Russian antivirus maker Kaspersky Lab from the list of vendors approved for use by government agencies, ABC News writes.


A leading player in the cyber security market, Kaspersky has been under scrutiny by U.S. lawmakers since senior U.S. intelligence officials revealed that they were reviewing the government’s use of its anti-virus software, Reuters reported 28 June.


Soon after the FBI interviewed several U.S.-based Kaspersky employees, the Senate Armed Services Committee signaled its concern the company “might be vulnerable to Russian government influence” as it approved a defense spending policy bill that would bar the U.S. military from using Kaspersky products.


An article published yesterday by Bloomberg Businessweek highlights concerns about possible Kaspersky links to the Kremlin. Internal company emails obtained by Bloomberg show that it has worked on commission for the Russian security agency FSB.


Although most major cyber security companies “maintain close ties to home governments,” Bloomberg writes, the emails, from 2009, show much closer links to the FSB than Kaspersky has so far owned up to.


Kaspersky confirmed the emails are authentic. It also released a statement denying claims that it has unethical connections with any government, including Russia.



  • A popular antivirus service provider, Kaspersky licenses its software to around 120 companies. Many of its customers embed its software in computers, telecommunications equipment, and other devices without naming Kaspersky as the software developer, Bloomberg says.



  • Not only is the United States ramping up its efforts to counter what it says cyber-threats emanating from Russia, it is also boosting the military capacities of some countries in Russia’s wider neighborhood. The State Department has given the green light to a $3.9 billion sale of Patriot missiles to Romania to “guard against aggression and shield the NATO allies who often train and operate within Romania’s borders,” Newsweek reports.


  • The Patriot air defense system has just been deployed in Lithuania, and Poland has agreed in principle to purchase the system from its U.S. maker Raytheon, Newsweek writes in another article. 

Compiled by Crystal Tai

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