Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky denies it’s a hazard after the U.S. bans its software


Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Moscow, has refuted claims that it poses a security threat following the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to prohibit the use of its software within the United States.

In a statement released on Friday, the company, led by CEO Eugene Kaspersky, asserted that the Commerce Department’s ruling would not impede its ability to market and support its cybersecurity solutions and training programs across the U.S. market.

Kaspersky emphasized that the government’s decision was driven by what it described as “geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns,” rather than independent verification of any actual risk posed by its products.

According to the U.S. government, Kaspersky’s ties to Russia create an “undue or unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the safety and security” of its citizens. The Commerce Department highlighted Eugene Kaspersky’s Russian citizenship and residence as factors subjecting him to Russian laws, including those governing data and intelligence operations.

In its decision published on June 14 in the Federal Register, the Commerce Department acknowledged Kaspersky’s objections to the initial findings of its investigation but upheld the ban, stating that it was firmly justified.

The department underscored concerns that Kaspersky’s software could potentially exploit vulnerabilities to access sensitive data of U.S. citizens, which might then be accessible to Russian government entities. It clarified that the issue was not the effectiveness of Kaspersky products in detecting viruses and malware, but rather their potential misuse to undermine U.S. interests.

Despite Kaspersky’s global popularity for consumer antivirus products and its respected cybersecurity research unit, allegations surfaced in 2019 that it had targeted cybersecurity experts to gather intelligence, as reported by The Associated Press.

Kaspersky maintains that it operates within legal boundaries and does not intentionally access sensitive American data. It asserts that its operations in Russia only handle aggregate or statistical data without identifying individuals. The company criticized the U.S. government’s decision, arguing it could inadvertently aid cybercrime while limiting consumer and organizational choices in cybersecurity.

Looking forward, Kaspersky expressed determination to defend its reputation and business interests against what it perceives as unjust actions.