The Russian government has an “offensive cyber program that targets among others the Netherlands and Dutch interests,” wrote Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus in a letter to parliament that outlined the decision.
Grapperhaus explained that because Kaspersky Lab is headquartered in Moscow, it is subject to Russian laws and the could be forced to comply with state interests.
Cybersecurity experts and U.S. intelligence officials have previously said the same, fearing that Russian intelligence could use the company’s anti-virus program as a platform for targeted espionage.
All U.S. federal agencies were ordered by the Department of Homeland Security to stop using Kaspersky products in December 2017. That same month, the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre warned government agencies to avoid Russian anti-virus software.
In April, Kaspersky was banned from advertising on Twitter because of the company’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence.
Kaspersky Lab has consistently denied any wrongdoing.