Uncle Sam sanctions Kaspersky’s top bosses – but not Mr K himself

Uncle Sam took another swing at Kaspersky Lab today and sanctioned a dozen C-suite and senior-level executives at the antivirus maker, but spared CEO and co-founder Eugene Kaspersky.

The move prevents US persons and organizations from doing business with the designated individuals. Any non-US financial institution that works with them also risks sanctions under Executive Order 13873.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) cited national security threats in designating the 12 individuals as under sanction. In making the announcement, it also noted: “OFAC has not designated Kaspersky Lab, its parent or subsidiary companies, or its CEO.”

The Treasury did, however, designate just about every other exec who reports directly to the Moscow-based firm’s chief exec “for operating in the technology sector of the Russian Federation economy,” which under EO 14024 is a no-no.

It follows Thursday’s actions by the Commerce Department that prohibit Kaspersky Lab Inc from providing its software and other security services in America from July 20 — plus years of directives and mandates to kick Kaspersky products out of US government networks.

Kaspersky Lab’s operations in Russia and the UK were also on Thursday placed on the US government’s Entity List, making it difficult to impossible for US persons and organizations to do business with them. In short, there is a mix of action against Kaspersky, from a ban on sales in the United States to sanctions against its execs in Russia.

In issuing these sanctions and product bans, the Biden White House and previous administrations have argued that the Russia-based antivirus developer could be forced or ordered by Putin to backdoor its products and hand over American individuals and organizations’ sensitive information from their PCs to Kremlin intelligence.

The Treasury sanctions followed a similar narrative.

“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,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson in a statement.

The 12 individuals named by the US government are: 

  • Andrei Gennadyevich Tikhonov, a member of the boards of directors of Kaspersky Lab, its parent organization OOO Kaspersky Group (Kaspersky Group), and UK-based holding company Kaspersky Limited. Since January 2012, Tikhonov has served as Kaspersky Lab’s chief operating officer, he’s a member of the firm’s executive team, and he reports directly to its CEO, Eugene Kaspersky.
  • Daniil Sergeyevich Borshchev, a member of the board of directors of Kaspersky Lab, Kaspersky Group, and Kaspersky Limited. In March 2017, he was appointed Kaspersky Lab’s deputy CEO of strategy and economics. Borshchev previously served as Kaspersky Lab’s chief financial officer.
  • Andrei Anatolyevich Efremov, a member of the board of directors of Kaspersky Lab and Kaspersky Group. He’s also the company’s chief business development officer and a member of its executive team.
  • Igor Gennadyevich Chekunov, a member of the board of directors of Kaspersky Lab and Kaspersky Group and also the organization’s chief legal officer.  
  • Andrey Petrovich Dukhvalov, Kaspersky Lab’s VP and director of future technologies.
  • Andrei Anatolyevich Suvorov, Kaspersky Lab’s head of Kaspersky operating system business unit.
  • Denis Vladimirovich Zenkin, the Kaspersky Lab’s head of corporate communications.
  • Marina Mikhaylovna Alekseeva, Kaspersky Lab’s chief HR officer.
  • Mikhail Yuryevich Gerber, Kaspersky Lab’s executive VP of consumer business.
  • Anton Mikhaylovich heads Kaspersky Lab’s research and development department as the company’s chief technology officer.
  • Kirill Aleksandrovich Astrakhan, Kaspersky Lab’s executive VP for corporate business.
  • Anna Vladimirovna Kulashova, Kaspersky Lab’s managing director for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, a senior-leadership-team position.

Kaspersky Lab declined to comment on the matter. ®