Best Buy stops selling Kaspersky software

Best Buy stops selling Kaspersky software
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Best Buy has stopped selling security software produced by Russian cyber firm Kaspersky Lab.

A spokesman for Best Buy confirmed the development, but said the retailer does not “comment on contracts with specific vendors."

Kaspersky also confirmed that it had parted ways with Best Buy in an emailed statement.

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“Kaspersky Lab and Best Buy have suspended their relationship at this time; however, the relationship may be re-evaluated in the future,” the software firm said. “Kaspersky Lab has enjoyed an almost decade-long partnership with Best Buy and its customer base, and the company will continue to offer its industry-leading cybersecurity solutions to consumers through its website and other retailers.”

The development comes amid heightened scrutiny of Kaspersky in the wake of Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election. The company has fought allegations in recent years that it has ties to Russian intelligence.

Reports surfaced late last week that Best Buy was pulling the company’s anti-virus software from its shelves and online retail store. Reuters cited an unnamed source who said Best Buy believed there were “too many unanswered questions” about the company. 

Best Buy is the largest electronics retailer in the U.S. 

Kaspersky, a multinational company with headquarters in Moscow, produces acclaimed anti-virus software and boasts more than 400 million users globally. But the background of founder Eugene Kaspersky has caught attention in the media and on Capitol Hill. Kaspersky was educated at a military scientific institute backed by the KGB, the former Soviet-era spy agency.

At a congressional hearing in May, several top intelligence officials told lawmakers that they would not be comfortable with Kaspersky’s software on their computers. The U.S. government has not produced public evidence of any links between the company and the Russian government, though the FBI is said to be pursuing a long-running probe into the company. 

Earlier this year, a Senate panel approved language in annual defense policy legislation barring the Pentagon from using Kaspersky products. Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress The Hill Interview: GOP chairman says ‘red flags’ surround Russian cyber firm Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ MORE (D-N.H.) is now pushing for a government-wide ban on the company’s security software to be included in the bill, which is poised to come before the full Senate this week. 

The Trump administration has also moved to restrict agencies from using certain government contracts to purchase Kaspersky software.