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Antivirus maker Kaspersky blacklisted by US communications regulator

The Russian antivirus publisher Kaspersky Lab was placed on Friday, March 25, on a ” blacklist “ of the Federal communication commission, the telecommunications regulator in the United States (FCC). This is the first time that a Russian company has been added to this list of companies considered “at risk to national security”almost exclusively made up of Chinese firms.

US governments cannot purchase products or services sold by companies on this list. The agency did not give specific reasons for its decision, which it claims aims to “strengthening US communications networks in the face of national security threats”and comes days after US President Joe Biden warned US companies of a high risk of Russian cyberattacks.

Read also: War in Ukraine: the United States anticipates an upsurge in cyberattacks

Mistrust in Europe

Kaspersky is a reputable antivirus software vendor, claiming more than 400 million users worldwide. The company said “disappointed” of the FCC’s decision, finding that it was based on the “current geopolitical climate” and not on a “Detailed security assessment of Kaspersky products and services”. The United States had already taken measures prohibiting the use of this company’s products in certain administrations, citing at the time “unacceptable risks” linked to the obligation imposed on all Russian companies to collaborate with the FSB, the internal intelligence services. Kaspersky had at the time denied all “inappropriate connection with a government”.

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, several European regulators or security services have also incited distrust of Russian companies. The German cybersecurity service encouraged, in mid-March, companies using Kaspersky products to change antivirus. As for the Italian privacy protection authority, it has opened an investigation into the “potential risks” posed by its software and seeks in particular to know whether the data of European customers is “transferred outside the European Union (e.g. to the Russian Federation)”.

Read also: German authorities recommend dropping software from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky

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