Russian antivirus software Kaspersky Lab has now been officially banned by the US Government. The recent hacking of classified National Security Agency (NSA) materials was attributed to the Kaspersky Lab Antivirus system, leading to the ban. The software has been associated with the Russian Secret Service and claimed to be spyware.
The ban will be effective as of July 16, 2018 after the US Feds dismissed Kaspersky Lab’s counter lawsuit against the US. The regulation first imposes itself within US Government agencies such as Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA) and NASA, but also extends to any company contracted by these government agencies.
The European Union also released a legal motion against the Russian Antivirus software, though non-binding, to restrict Kaspersky’s distribution channels. The motion requested ‘a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions in order to exclude potentially dangerous programs and devices, and to ban the ones that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab.’
Kaspersky Lab released a statement claiming such motion by the EU ‘welcomes cybercrime in Europe’. Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab stated, “I do not wish to do anything to further encourage the balkanization of the internet, but I feel that the decision taken in Europe leaves me with no choice but to take definitive action. Kaspersky Lab has only ever tried to rid the world of cybercrime. We have showed time and again that we disclose cyber threats regardless of origin and author, even to our own detriment. This is a setback for the fight against cyber threat, but we remain undeterred in our mission – to save the world from Cybercrime.”
As there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence released to the public, the European Union maintains the Kaspersky Antivirus software is still safe for ordinary consumers around the globe. However, even private organisations should take note of this ban and consider employing the right people to graph a detailed cost-benefit analysis if they ever decide to avail Kaspersky Lab’s services and products in the future.