US announces sanctions for Kaspersky antivirus executives

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Following the recent announcement of a total ban on Kaspersky, the Russian-developed antivirus software in the US, the Treasury has issued sanctions against twelve of the company’s executives.

The individuals in question are high up in the business, with six present in Kaspersky’s C-suite, and four of those sit on the board. The rest are known to be senior managers and even vice presidents inside the company.

Existing Kaspersky users in the US are warned that updates to the software will stop on September 29, 2024, rendering the software near-obsolete in the fast moving world of malware threats. 

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Kaspersky sanction consequences

AO Kaspersky Lab, OOO Kaspersky Group and Kaspersky Ltd. have, as associated entities, been designated a national security risk moving forward, owing to fears that the software could be used to steal sensitive information from users, opening the company up to accusations of espionage.

The Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, talked up the government’s “commitment […] to [protecting] our citizens against malicious cyber threats,” citing accountability as a key motivator.

“The United States will take action where necessary to hold accountable those who would seek to facilitate or otherwise enable these activities,” he added.

Increased scrutiny of the company, which began with an investigation and likely culminates with this action by the Treasury, follows the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict and fears that U.S citizens could become targets of identity theft after the country’s government has vocally supported Ukraine.

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The total ban follows previous bans on the software from US government devices, as well as, in October 2023, Canadian ones.

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