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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 11:40

HPE allowed Russian review of source code for military app

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The source code of a Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software package known as ArcSight, that is used by the US military for its cyber defence, was made available for inspection to Russian defence agency Echelon, which has close ties to the military.

ArcSight alerts analysts when computer systems are attacked. It is also used in the private sector. It is now owned by British mainframe company Micro Focus which acquired HPE's software assets in a sale that was completed last month.

A Reuters report said the Russian review of the ArcSight source code was facilitated by HPE in order to obtain the certification needed to get orders for Russia's public sector.

Former US intelligence officials were quoted as saying that the review could help Russia find vulnerabilities in ArcSight.

The code review was said to have taken place last year, at a time when the US was accusing Russia of hacking American companies, politicians and government bodies.

Moscow has denied that it carried out any such attacks.

Echelon president and majority owner Alexey Markov told Reuters that if he and his team found any vulnerabilities, then they had to report them to the Russian government.

However, he added, that he would always alert the software maker of the problem first and obtain permission to release details to the Russian authorities.

Markov did not provide any details about the ArcSight source code because of a non-disclosure agreement with HPE.

HPE was quoted as saying that such reviews had taken place in Russia for years.

ArcSight is used by some state companies in Russia, including VTB Bank and the Rossiya Segodnya media company.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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