Best Buy Stops Selling Russian-Based Kaspersky Products
Best Buy Co. Has stopped selling products from leading computer security firm Kaspersky Lab amid concerns that the Moscow-based company has links to Russian intelligence, the two companies confirmed Friday.
The No.1 U.S. electronics retailer, is pulling Kaspersky Lab's cyber security products from its shelves and website, amid concerns that the Moscow-based firm may be vulnerable to Russian government influence.
"Kaspersky Lab has enjoyed a decade-long partnership with Best Buy and its customer base, and Kaspersky Lab will continue to offer its industry-leading cybersecurity solutions to consumers through its website and other retailers," said the Best Buy spokeswoman.
Kaspersky, which denies Russian government links, said the two firms "have suspended their relationship at this time."
"However, the relationship may be re-evaluated in the future," it said in a statement.
Best Buy has been a Kaspersky supplier for over a decade, and the firm's products enjoy a good reputation among the retailer's customers. However, the firm felt there were "too many unanswered questions" and so decided to discontinue selling the antivirus products.
The security software vendor, founded in 1977 by Russia-born Eugene Kaspersky, operates a global business with an estimated 400 million product users. It has its main offices in Russia and the United States.
Kaspersky’s Suspected Kremlin Ties
Kaspersky has long raised eyebrows in the US intelligence community and faced increased scrutiny from the US government over its suspected ties to the Kremlin, especially in the wake of Russia's interference in last year's election.
Kaspersky is currently under active FBI counterintelligence investigation, and the Senate Intelligence Committee is probing the nature of its relationship to the Kremlin, calling it an "important national security issue."
Kaspersky's products are widely used across the US, and officials worry that Russian state actors could exploit Kaspersky's software and gain access to sensitive user data as well as critical infrastructure. Kaspersky has strongly denied it has ties with any government.
Best Buy will allow customers who are already using Kaspersky products, and who still have active subscriptions, to exchange it for free within the next 45 days. They can also uninstall it themselves or have the Geek Squad do it for free within that window.
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