UPDATE: Best Buy removes Kaspersky products from shelves following congressional warnings
Update: Office Depot is the latest in a line of vendors to take Kaspersky products off its shelves. The retailer is offering for any customer who purchased Kaspersky Total Security software to have Office Depot experts uninstall it and install a one-year license of McAfee LiveSafe for free, the company said in a statement to CIO Dive. Office Depot is extending the offer regardless of where customers purchased the product from originally.
- Best Buy is following congressional recommendation and discontinuing the sale of Russian-based Kaspersky Labs products, according to the Star Tribune. The U.S. government has scrutinized the security software company for suspected ties to the Kremlin.
- Kaspersky security tech products are used to protect devices from viruses and malware. 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 software is said to be susceptible to Russian hacking, intrusion or spyware.
- The U.S. Congress and intelligence community has strongly advised discontinuing the use of Kaspersky products. In July, the Trump administration removed Kaspersky technology from its list of vendors safe to use in government agencies, according to Reuters.
After Russian hacking during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, potential cybercrimes have become the center of attention for government agencies.
While Kaspersky Labs has a positive reputation among its 400 million users and is known as a world-renowned cybersecurity firm, Best Buy heeded congressional warnings. In May, the U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency, united to voice suspicion of Kaspersky Labs products. There are currently no open reports on Russian intelligence ties, but it is believed its CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, is directly linked to the Kremlin.
Kaspersky has refuted the claim, saying "as a private company, Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyber espionage efforts."
Best Buy is offering customers a 45-day period for free exchanges, returns or uninstallation of Kaspersky products. Kaspersky said it has plans to have its Best Buy partnership "reevaluated" in the future and its products are still available through other vendors. It remains a partner with top software providers like Microsoft, Intel and IBM.
Our statement in regards to the status of our business relationship with Best Buy. pic.twitter.com/4tcPoIu3Li— Kaspersky Lab (@kaspersky) September 8, 2017