Best Buy To Stop Selling Kaspersky Lab Security Software
The electronics retailer company Best Buy will not be selling security software any longer from Kaspersky Lab, the Russian internet security firm after concerns arose that the Russian government might be unduly influencing the company.
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This summer, Kaspersky has been facing allegations that the Kremlin might be influencing the Moscow-based cyber security firm. In May, during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the heads from all of the six main US intelligence agencies stated they weren’t comfortable with their computers using the company’s software. The US Senate Armed Services Committee in July proposed that the Department of Defense be prohibited from using products from Kaspersky Labs based on reports that the company might be vulnerable to influence from the Russian government. Reuters reported that the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology made a request to all of the 22 government agencies that they share their communications and documentation related to the company.
For consumers, this can be disturbing news, since Kaspersky’s products are widely used (Kaspersky Review). Best Buy made the decision to stop selling the Kaspersky product based on these concerns. The Star Tribune reported that the decision was prompted by industry discussion, congressional testimony and media reports, and although a formal investigation was not conducted by the company, they did feel there are far too many unanswered questions. A Best Buy spokesman did confirm the accuracy of the Tribune article but had no further comments on specific vendors. Over the following 45 days, the company says it will allow customers who bought the software or have active subscriptions to be able to exchange the product for a different one.
These reports have been denied by Kaspersky Lab, stating that it has been caught in the middle of an international geopolitical battle, and further stated that they have never helped any government with offensive cyber efforts or cyber espionage and never will. The company also noted that Best Buy’s decision to remove their product from their stores might be reevaluated in the future and that it could be found still at other retailers like Walmart and Amazon.