The Biden administration is set to announce a ban on the sale of Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus software in the United States, citing national security concerns, according to a report by Reuters.

This decision stems from the company’s close ties to the Russian government, which pose significant risks including potential theft of sensitive information, installation of malware, or withholding updates on American computers.

The official announcement is expected on Thursday, with the ban taking effect 30 days after the restrictions are published. This move will prohibit new sales and software updates, resales, and licensing of Kaspersky antivirus software. Businesses currently using Kaspersky products will have a grace period until September 29th, 100 days from the announcement, to transition to alternative solutions.

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This ban is backed by authorities established during the Trump administration, though specific powers being utilized remain unclear. The action is the culmination of a two-year investigation by the Department of Commerce, initiated in 2022. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the federal government heightened its scrutiny of Kaspersky, warning that the Russian government could potentially exploit the software.

Despite these national security concerns, Kaspersky’s antivirus software has historically received positive reviews for its effectiveness. For instance, PCMag praised the software’s capabilities but ceased recommending it in 2022 due to mounting criticism from U.S. and foreign government agencies, as well as informed third parties.

Issues surrounding Kaspersky are not new. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security barred federal agencies from using the software. This decision was based on Russian laws that allow intelligence agencies to compel companies like Kaspersky to assist them and intercept communications.

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