WASHINGTON, June 21 – The US will ban the sale of antivirus software made by Moscow-based cybersecurity company Kaspersky, German news agency (dpa) reported.

The US Department of Commerce said in a statement on Thursday that Kaspersky’s operations in the US present a national security risk “due to the Russian Government’s offensive cyber capabilities and capacity to influence or direct Kaspersky’s operations”.

“Kaspersky will generally no longer be able to, among other activities, sell its software within the US or provide updates to software already in use.”

The department advised both private and professional users of Kaspersky’s widely installed antivirus software to find an alternative due to the potential risk.

“Russia has shown time and again they have the capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Kaspersky Lab, to collect and weaponise sensitive US information, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to safeguard US national security and the American people,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said.

The sale of Kaspersky software in the US will be banned from July 20, while software updates will be available to existing users until Sept 29. Kaspersky’s software is designed to protect users against trojans, spyware and other cyber threats.

Installation of Kaspersky software on government devices in the US has been banned since 2017, and Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has also warned against using the software.

Kaspersky has denied its products pose a risk, asserting that it is a private global cybersecurity company with no ties to the Russian government.


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