US agency follows suit: Kaspersky ‘threat to national security’

Following the Federal Office for Information Security, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has now put Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky on a risk list. It warns about offers from Kaspersky. The next authority is now taking action against Kaspersky.

According to the FCC warning, the use of Kaspersky products poses “an unacceptable risk to US national security.” on the security software and consequently on the user systems. This list prohibits any U.S. entity receiving FCC telecommunications subsidies from using the products of any of the publicly traded companies. Infographic: Target of Russian hackers

Warning extended to new companies

Products subject to this decision include information security products, solutions, and services offered by Kaspersky or any of its affiliates, including subsidiaries or affiliates. Two other Chinese companies (China Mobile and China Telecom) have also been added to the newly released FCC list. “The addition of these companies, as well as Kaspersky Labs, will help protect our networks from threats from Chinese and Russian state-owned companies that spy and otherwise try to harm America’s interests.” The first US federal agencies were ordered in September 2017 by the Department of Homeland Security via Binding Operational Directive (BOD) to remove Kaspersky products from federal agencies’ information systems.

The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) had generally warned companies against using Kaspersky products. The BSI indicated that Russian authorities could force the antivirus provider to allow the Russian secret service to carry out cyberattacks on its customers or use its products for cyber espionage campaigns.

Kaspersky Statement

Following the publication of the FCC list, Kaspersky told the online magazine: bleeding computer issued the following statement: “Kaspersky is disappointed with the decision of the Federal Communications Commission to ban certain telecom-related federal subsidies for the purchase of Kaspersky products and services. This decision is not based on a technical evaluation of Kaspersky’s products Kaspersky alleges that the US government’s 2017 ban on federal agencies and federal contractors from using Kaspersky products and services is unconstitutional, based on unsubstantiated allegations, and not made public.

There is evidence of wrongdoing by the company, as there is no public evidence as of 2017 to otherwise justify these actions, and the FCC announcement specifically references the 2017 Department of Homeland Security decision as to the basis for today’s decision. Kaspersky believes the expansion of the ban today on entities using FCC telecommunications re-subsidizing is also unwarranted and more a response to the geopolitical climate than a comprehensive assessment of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services.”