Kaspersky has always charged a premium price for its antivirus product, and rightfully so. The software's topped independent testing results for years, to such an extent that in 2016 AV-Comparatives created a new "Outstanding Products" category for it and Bitdefender. But late Tuesday, the company announced Kaspersky Free, letting you deploy that top-notch defense without spending a single dime. "In short, the indispensable basics that no one on the planet should do without," CEO Eugene Kaspersky wrote. Think of it like the Windows Defender security tool native to Windows 10, but using Kaspersky's highly regarded technology.
We only know two things about Kaspersky Lab. We know that the service it offers provides protection for all your devices, including your PC, Mac, and Android phone and tablet. We also know that from time to time, Kaspersky Lab drops its prices across the board, and now is one of those times. You can secure Kaspersky Anti Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security, or Kaspersky Total Security at 30% less than list price. This deal isn't around for long, and you'll have to pounce before Feb. 7 to avoid missing out.
Last year, the US government made moves to ban the use of Kaspersky security software in federal agencies, claiming the company's ties to the Russian government represented a security risk. In September, the Department of Homeland Security issued an order that required federal departments and agencies to remove the company's software from their systems. Then, Congress passed and President Trump approved a bill -- the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) -- that also banned Kaspersky software from federal government use. Kaspersky subsequently filed two lawsuits combatting both bans, but a judge has now dismissed them. CyberScoop reports that Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, US District Judge for the District of Columbia, rejected Kaspersky's claims that the bans were unconstitutional.
Kaspersky has a long and difficult path ahead if it wants to clear its name. The US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology has just asked 22 government agencies for all the documents and communications they have about Kaspersky Lab products, staring from January 1st, 2013 until today. It wants to see their internal risk assessments, the lists of all the systems they're using loaded with Kaspersky products and the lists of their contractors and subcontractors that use the cyber security company's offerings. According to Reuters, the panel's chairman explained that the Congress is requesting for all those documents, because it's "concerned that Kaspersky Lab is susceptible to manipulation by the Russian government, and that its products could be used as a tool for espionage, sabotage or other nefarious activities against the United States." All Cabinet-level agencies received the request, including NASA, the EPA and Homeland Security.