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US Sanctions 12 Kaspersky Executives 

The US has imposed sanctions on 12 individuals who have leadership roles at Kaspersky in Russia and the UK.

Kaspersky software ban

Shortly after announcing a ban on the sale of Kaspersky software, the United States imposed sanctions on a dozen individuals who hold leadership roles at the Russian cybersecurity firm.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday announced sanctions against twelve Russian nationals who work at Kaspersky, including some who are also members of the company’s board of directors.

In addition, the Russian entities AO Kaspersky Lab and OOO Kaspersky Group, as well as the UK-based Kaspersky Labs Limited, have been added to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) trade restriction list for cooperating with military and intelligence agencies in support of Russia’s cyber intelligence objectives.

The sanctioned individuals hold executive or leadership roles at one or more of these entities. The list includes COO Andrei Tikhonov, deputy CEO of Strategy and Economics Daniil Borshchev, Chief Business Development Officer Andrei Efremov, and Chief Legal Officer Igor Chekunov. These individuals are also members of Kaspersky’s board of directors. 

The list of targeted individuals also includes VP and Director of Future Technologies Andrey Dukhvalov, Head of Kaspersky Operating System Business Unit Andrei Suvorov, Head of Corporate Communications Denis Zenkin, Chief HR Officer Marina Alekseeva, Executive VP of Consumer Business Mikhail Gerber, CTO Anton Ivanov,  Executive VP for Corporate Business Kirill Astrakhan, and Managing Director for Russia and CIS Anna Kulashova. 

It’s worth noting that Kaspersky’s CEO and founder, Eugene Kaspersky, has not been sanctioned. 

Over a period of several years, Kaspersky took significant steps to earn the United States’ trust and convince everyone that it’s not using its reach to spy for the Russian government. The first major blow to the company came in 2017, when the Trump administration banned the use of its products and services in federal agencies due to the risk of spying. 

Russia’s war against Ukraine has only made things worse for Kaspersky and the situation culminated last week when the Biden administration prohibited Kaspersky from directly or indirectly selling antimalware and other cybersecurity software products and services in the United States.  

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Current users of Kaspersky products have until September 29 to migrate to other software. After that date, the Kaspersky Security Network will have to stop operating and providing updates to Americans. 

“Individuals and businesses that continue to use existing Kaspersky products and services will not face legal penalties under the Final Determination. However, any individual or business that continues to use Kaspersky products and services assumes all the cybersecurity and associated risks of doing so,” the BIS clarified.  

Kaspersky pointed out that it can still provide products and services related to threat intelligence, training, and consulting in the US.  

The company has denied all accusations and says it plans on pursuing all legally available options to preserve its current operations and relationships. 

Related: Mysterious Operative Haunted Kaspersky Critics

Related: Germany Warns Against Russia’s Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software

Related: Italy Investigates Russia’s Kaspersky Antivirus Software

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.


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