Best Buy reportedly pulling Kaspersky software from shelves over concerns of Kremlin ties

Best Buy has reportedly opted to stop selling Kaspersky cybersecurity software in its stores. According to the StarTribune, Best Buy decided to cease sales of Kaspersky products over growing concerns that the company is connected to the Russian government.

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The move follows reports that first surfaced earlier in 2017 tying Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab to the Kremlin. A Bloomberg report at the time raised concerns by alleging Kaspersky's close ties to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the country's main intelligence organization. For its part, Kaspersky has denied any nefarious ties to the Russian government, and some see the issue as overblown.

Still, in light of heightened concerns around potential Russian-borne cyber threats, some U.S. government officials have drafted legislation that would ban Kaspersky software on government systems. That's in addition to Congressional testimony in which six U.S. intelligence chiefs expressed discomfort with the use Kaspersky products. Amid the uncertainty, Best Buy "felt there were too many unanswered questions and so has decided to discontinue selling the products," according to the StarTribune.

Aside from confirmation that it Kaspersky products would no longer be sold on its shelves, the StarTribune reports that Best Buy will also allow those who have purchased Kaspersky software to exchange it for another product.

Best Buy will allow customers who have bought Kasperksy software from it, and who still have active subscriptions, to exchange it for free for another product in the next 45 days. Customers can also uninstall it themselves or have a Geek Squad agent do it for free within that time window.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl