>> Some of the world's best-known technology names are increasingly allowing their crown jewels, source code, to be inspected by Vladimir Putin's top spies in exchange for a foothold in the Russian market. Reuters Learning companies such as Cisco, IBM, and SAP all going along with Russia's demands for access to their most closely guarded software secrets.
Even as Moscow's accused of aggressive cyber attacks on the West. Including interference in the 2016 presidential race. Russia's Federal Security Service, known as FSB, demanding the software reviews ostensibly to ensure other countries have not hidden back doors that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems. Reporter Joe Schechtman is on the story.
>> Russian authorities say that they're concerned in light of the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowdon. That the US was using its technology companies in order to spy on foreign governments. US officials have expressed concern that by allowing Russian authorities to review source code it could also allow Russia to hack into software when it's used here in the US.
>> With the country's IT market topping $18 billion a year, most tech companies begrudgingly go along with the inspections.>> Companies say that the source code review process is a necessary legal part of doing business in Russia. They also say that the process does not compromise the safety and security of their software because they conducted inside of secure facilities where Russian authorities are not gonna be able to download a copy of the source code or alter it.
>> Moscow-based Echelon is one of several independent testing centers where Western IT firms can hire to help obtain FSB approval for their products. But Echelon makes no secret of its close ties to the Russian military and at least one company Symantec has stopped cooperating over security concerns.>> So far no one is able to point to an instance when a Russian review of source code has helped hackers to actually infiltrate a system.
But chances are if that had happened no one would know about it. Its really hard to attribute whose behind an attack in general. And to be able to make the connection that it was because of a particular source code review might be impossible.>> American officials advising companies not to let Russia review their source code that have little power to stop them unless the technology has restricted military applications.