US lifts ban on anti-virus software for Iran

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   May 31, 2013

Eased restrictions welcomed by security experts.

The United States has announced it has eased export restrictions to Iran, and now allows for the export of mobile phones and software, including anti-virus software.

The US originally imposed sanctions against Iran following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and has tightened them several times since, among other things because of the country's alleged nuclear program. While the effect of economic sanctions is debated among experts, the fact that anti-virus software could not be exported has regularly received criticism from security and privacy experts.

The Iranian government is known to have regularly intercepted its citizens' online communications (for example by using SSL certificates generated by hacking into the DigiNotar certificate authority) and it is well possible that spyware is also used. However, it wouldn't be the only government to do so: this week, the US entertainment industry released a report in which it argued for the use of ransomware against piracy. But at least US citizens would be able to purchase security software that would, hopefully, allow the detection of such programs.

If citizens in a foreign country are not allowed to purchase security software, they would be forced either to do without such software, or to use whatever their own government provides them with; hardly a reassuring thought. A similar argument can be made about the use of communication technology, such as mobile phones; hence the ban on the export of these has also been lifted.

There is one notable exception to the eased restrictions: software and mobile phones cannot be sold if the seller has reason to believe they are going to be used by the Iranian government. The Iranian government will thus have to find its own solutions against new Stuxnet variants.

More at the BBC here with a PDF of the updated regulations by the Office of Foreign Assets Control here.

Posted on 31 May 2013 by Martijn Grooten

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 video: Shedding skin - Turla's fresh faces

Today, we have published the video of a VB2018 presentation by Kaspersky Lab researchers Kurt Baumgartner and Mike Scott, who looked at the latest activity of the Turla group.

VB2018 video: Triada: the past, the present and the (hopefully not existing) future

Today we publish the video of the VB2018 presentation by Google researcher Lukasz Siewierski on the Triada Android malware and Google's work with OEMs to remove it from infected devices.

VB2018 paper: Uncovering the wholesale industry of social media fraud: from botnet to bulk reseller panels

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Masarah Paquet-Clouston (GoSecure) who looked at the supply chain behind social media fraud.

VB2018 paper: Now you see it, now you don't: wipers in the wild

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper from Saher Naumaan (BAE Systems) who looks at malware variants that contain a wiper functionality. We also publish the recording of her presentation.

Emotet trojan starts stealing full emails from infected machines

The infamous Emotet trojan has added the capability to steal full email bodies from infected machines, opening the possibilities for more targeted spam and phishing campaigns.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.