FCC labels Kaspersky a threat to national security

Kaspersky poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States. For that reason, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has added the antivirus company to its Covered List. She did not say why the regulator considers Kaspersky a threat to national security.

The FCC reports this in a press release.

German security service warns of Kaspersky

Kaspersky has been under fire for some time. The antivirus company is headquartered in Moscow. This is currently very sensitive due to the war in Ukraine. Security experts believe that the risk of cyber attacks from Russia on Western countries and targets is high. “A Russian IT manufacturer could carry out attacks itself, be forced to attack systems against its will, or become the victim of a cyber operation without its knowledge,” BSI wrote earlier this month.

The German intelligence service advised companies and organizations to move away from Kaspersky’s security software as soon as possible. In particular, bodies active in the vital sector should work on this. “If there are doubts about the manufacturer’s reliability, its antivirus software poses a security risk to digital infrastructures,” the BSI said.

‘Better protect American networks against threats’

It is not only in Germany that people are concerned about Kaspersky. In Italy, the Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali  (GPDP) recently decided to launch an investigation into Kaspersky and the possible risks of processing the personal data of Italian citizens. Kaspersky must provide the regulator with clarity about what information it collects, and whether this data is stored outside of Europe or not. Finally, it should explain how often the company has received requests from third parties to pass on information about Italian citizens, and to what extent they have been complied with.

In the US, the telecom watchdog thinks the same. According to the FCC, Kaspersky poses “an unacceptable risk” to national security. As a result, the regulator has added the Russian antivirus company to the so-called Covered List. It is unclear why Kaspersky poses a threat to national security.

Kaspersky isn’t the only company recently blacklisted by the FCC. China Mobile and China Telecom have also recently been listed as potentially dangerous companies for the US. “These additions to the list will help us better secure our networks against threats from Chinese and Russian organizations,” said FCC board member Jessica Rosenworcel.

Kaspersky: ‘No ties with Russian government’

Kaspersky said he was disappointed with the FCC’s decision to be blacklisted. This decision was not made on the basis of ‘a technical assessment’, but on the basis of ‘political motives.

“Kaspersky will continue to assure its partners and customers of the quality and integrity of its products, and remains willing to work with U.S. government agencies to address the concerns of the FCC and any other regulatory authorities,” the antivirus company said in a statement. . Kaspersky also says it has no ties to the Russian government.

The Netherlands extends Kaspersky user ban by government services

In the Netherlands, Kaspersky antivirus software has been banned by government services since 2018 due to concerns about our national security. In early March, Justice and Security Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius extended the ban on the use of security software by government bodies.

“At this time, no conclusive evidence can be found in open sources for any of the scenarios, and it is therefore not possible to provide a definitive answer as to whether Kaspersky currently poses an active threat to National Security,” a threat assessment said. .PDF) of the Cabinet on Kaspersky.

At the same time, the report also states: “Due to the nature of an AV business and its products and services, misuse can be an attractive cyber asset for a state (or other) actor. Whether this means is actually used depends on the intentions of the actor concerned and the possibilities for abuse.”

The chance that Kaspersky will be forced to work for the Russian government is ‘probable’, according to the cabinet. “It is likely that Kaspersky has been or will be infiltrated and compromised by a government other than the Russian (unconsciously-unintentionally),” we read in the threat analysis.

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