Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Best Buy stops sale of Russia-based Kaspersky products

Best Buy stops sale of Russia-based Kaspersky products

U.S. retailer Best Buy said it will stop selling internet security software products from Kaspersky Lab, amid fears the Russian company could have links to the Russian government, Minnesota's Star Tribune reported.

In addition, Rob Joyce, the USA government's cyber security coordinator, has admitted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been holding briefings with companies in the United States since the beginning of the year, urging them to drop Kaspersky security products on the grounds of national security. Best Buy has sold them for over a decade, but the company's decision came from persistent reports on the unsecure nature of the products.

The development comes amid heightened scrutiny of Kaspersky in the wake of Russia's interference in the USA presidential election. In July, Bloomberg reported the company developed software for Russian intelligence.

Reports surfaced late last week that Best Buy was pulling the company's anti-virus software from its shelves and online retail store. Jeanne Shaheen said she was introducing legislation to ban USA government bodies from using Kaspersky software. Reuters cited an unnamed source who said Best Buy believed there were "too many unanswered questions" about the company. The U.S. government has scrutinized the security software company for suspected ties to the Kremlin. Kaspersky was educated at a military scientific institute backed by the KGB, the former Soviet-era spy agency. In an op-ed that recently ran in the New York Times, a USA senator, Jeanne Shaheen (Democrat, New Hampshire) noted that six top intelligence officials, including the heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency, recently testified that they would not be comfortable with Kaspersky Lab software on their agency computers.

After Russian hacking during the 2016 US presidential election, potential cybercrimes have become the center of attention for government agencies.

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