The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added Russia’s Kaspersky Lab to its ‘threat list,’ echoing similar decisions in Europe.
The FCC added Kaspersky to its list of communications equipment, and service providers deemed threats to US national security.
According to Reuters, Kaspersky is the first Russian firm to join the list, first populated with Chinese companies such as Huawei Technologies and ZRE Corp.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the new designations “will help secure our networks from threats posed by Chinese and Russian state-backed entities seeking to engage in espionage and otherwise harm America’s interests.”
While the FCC just added the Russian software provider to the list, the US government banned Kaspersky products from all government departments in 2017.
The Justice Department claimed that the company worked on secret projects with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
Reacting to the FCC’s decision, Kaspersky Labs issued a statement, saying the company is ‘disappointed’ with the latest development.
“This decision is not based on any technical assessment of Kaspersky products – that the company continuously advocates for – but instead is being made on political grounds,” reads the statement.
Last week, Reuters reported that Italy’s public sector would be instructed to replace Russian antivirus software to prevent disruption of services.
Italy’s decision came after the country’s data regulator started a probe into potential privacy risks connected to using the software provided by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab.
Fears of Russia spying on critical infrastructure prompted Germany to ditch Kaspersky, too. Germany’s cyber watchdog, BSI, said that any doubts in the reliability of an antivirus manufacturer, the product poses a risk to the IT infrastructure.
Eugene Kaspersky, the creator of the software, refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, hacktivists and journalists cast doubts on Kasperky’s said neutrality.
Recently, Cybernews has learned that Kaspersky Lab is protecting the resources of the Russian Ministry of Defense and other high-value domains that are instrumental to the Russian propaganda machine.
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