If Kaspersky tried to mend its relationship with the US government these past months, then its efforts likely failed. The president has just signed a defense policy spending bill into law, and it includes the government’s ban on using the Moscow-based company’s anti-virus product. While the US already prohibited its federal agencies from using Kaspersky back in September, this makes things official — feds will have to switch anti-virus programs if they haven’t yet.
The security firm has been under fire over the past year after it was accusedof working with Russian intelligence. According to a New York Timesreport, Israel told the United States that its people witnessed Russian hackers break into NSA’s computers to steal secrets using the anti-virus software. It lost a lot of federal business as a result, and even UK’s cyber security authorities warned its country’s agencies against using Kaspersky.
The company can still sell to private entities, but it’s also having issues with that part of its businessq: Best Buy, for one, pulled the anti-virus from its shelves. It’s even reportedly shutting down its Washington DC office as a result of the crackdown. Kaspersky once offered to make its source code available for review in an effort to regain customers’ trust — unfortunately, the government found that offer lacking. It told Reuters in a statement that it has serious concerns about the law “due to its geographic-specific approach to cybersecurity” and is now assessing its options.
source: Engadget.com by Mariella Moon