On Friday, March 5th the FCC added Kaspersky to their list of restricted companies alongside two Chinese companies. In a statement regarding the move, Chair Jessica Rosenworcel commented that this “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.”
The Kaspersky response accused the Federal Communications Commission of playing politics stating that this action was purely in response to the invasion of Ukraine, and not done with any basis in technology.
This wasn’t the first time that Kaspersky Labs were singled out by the United States Government. In December 2017, President Trump signed a law banning their antivirus software from federal agencies under suspicions that the popular software was being used in a cyber espionage collaboration with the Russian government.
In both instances, Kaspersky claims innocence and counter accuses the US of exerting political biases against their company. The latest action has been labelled as a retaliation against their Russia-based company over the actions of Putin and the Kremlin in Ukraine.
Whether this was politically-motivated or a true response to a real and present danger, what this geek finds amusing is that somehow Kaspersky is actually still in the marketplace (I didn’t realize they were).