Reuters reports that mounting Russian cyberattacks amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine have prompted the U.S. to bolster its investigation of Russian antivirus software manufacturer Kaspersky.
While the Commerce Department has been sought to launch a probe on Kaspersky last year, it was only urged to advance in March by the White House as concerns regarding Russia's potential use of Kaspersky's antivirus software to exfiltrate sensitive data from U.S. critical infrastructure networks grew amid rising tensions between the West and Russia, according to people close to the matter.
The Commerce Department had been given new authorities by the Trump administration to prohibit U.S. firms to enter into transactions with tech, internet, and telecom companies from Russia, China, and other "foreign adversary" nations.
The powers are "really the only tool that we have to deal with the threat (posed by Kaspersky) on an economy-wide commercial basis, given our generally open market," said former Trade Representative Deputy Assistant Emily Kilcrease.
Ninety-two more apps, nearly half of which are on Google Play, that have cumulatively amassed more than 30 million installations were discovered to be compromised with the SpinOk malware, which has been distributed through a malicious software development kit supply chain attack, BleepingComputer reports.