WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Major global technology providers SAP (SAPG.DE), Symantec (SYMC.O) and McAfee have allowed Russian authorities to hunt for vulnerabilities in software deeply embedded across the U.S. government, a Reuters investigation has found.
The practice potentially jeopardizes the security of computer networks in at least a dozen federal agencies, U.S. lawmakers and security experts said. It involves more companies and a broader swath of the government than previously reported.
In order to sell in the Russian market, the tech companies let a Russian defense agency scour the inner workings, or source code, of some of their products. Russian authorities say the reviews are necessary to detect flaws that could be exploited by hackers.
But those same products protect some of the most sensitive areas of the U.S government, including the Pentagon, NASA, the State Department, the FBI and the intelligence community, against hacking by sophisticated cyber adversaries like Russia.
Reuters revealed in October that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) software known as ArcSight, used to help secure the Pentagon’s computers, had been reviewed by a Russian military contractor with close ties to Russia’s security services.
Now, a Reuters review of hundreds of U.S. federal procurement documents and Russian regulatory records shows that the potential risks to the U.S. government from Russian source code reviews are more widespread.
Beyond the Pentagon, ArcSight is used in at least seven other agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the…