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US sanctions leaders of Russian antivirus software provider Kaspersky

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-22 05:27

FILE PHOTO: A man walks next to Russian Kaspersky stand during the GSMA's 2022 Mobile World Congress (MWC), in Barcelona, Spain, March 2, 2022. [REUTERS/ Albert Gea/File Photo]

WASHINGTON -- The US Treasury Department announced sanctions Friday against a dozen senior executives of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, one day after the Commerce Department banned the sale of its antivirus software in the United States.

"Today's action against the leadership of Kaspersky Lab underscores our commitment to ensure the integrity of our cyber domain and to protect our citizens against malicious cyber threats," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said when announcing the designations against 12 Kaspersky executives, including the company's chief operating officer.

"The United States will take action where necessary to hold accountable those who would seek to facilitate or otherwise enable these activities," Nelson said.

Separately, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement that "Kaspersky is subject to the jurisdiction, control, or direction of the Russian government, which could exploit the privileged access to obtain sensitive data, including personal information, or bypass cybersecurity measures, thereby posing an unacceptable risk to US national security or the safety and security of US persons."

The above announcements followed the Commerce Department's decision Thursday to ban the sale of Kaspersky's antivirus software in the United States.

"Kaspersky will generally no longer be able to, among other activities, sell its software within the United States or provide updates to software already in use," the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security said in a statement.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the department's first-of-its-kind action was in response to Russia's repeated show of "capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Kaspersky Lab, to collect and weaponize sensitive U.S. information."

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