The US Federal Communications Commission has added Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab to its list of entities that pose an “unacceptable risk to US national security,” according to a report by Bloomberg† It is the first time that a Russian company has been added to the list, which also consists of Chinese companies, such as Huawei and ZTE.
US companies may not use federal grants provided through the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to purchase products or services from the listed companies. In addition to Kaspersky, the FCC also added China Telecom and China Mobile International USA to the list on Friday.
“I am pleased that our national security agencies agree with my assessment that China Mobile and China Telecom appear to meet the threshold required to add these entities to our list,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release (pdf). ). “Their addition, as well as Kaspersky Labs, will help secure our networks against threats from Chinese and Russian state-backed entities engaged in espionage and otherwise harming America’s interests.”
Kaspersky responded to the FCC’s move in a press release on its site, saying the agency’s decision was made “on political grounds” in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that the company “remains ready to cooperate.” with US government agencies to address the FCCs”. and the concerns of other regulatory authorities.”
In 2017, Russian intelligence allegedly used Kaspersky’s antivirus software to steal classified documents from the National Security Agency — a claim that was denied by the Moscow-based company. Later that year, former President Donald Trump signed a law banning the use of Kaspersky products by federal agencies after accusing the company of having ties to the Kremlin.