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McAfee to no longer permit government source code reviews

WASHINGTON:

U.S.-based cyber firm McAfee said it will no longer permit foreign governments to scrutinize the source code of its products, halting a practice some security experts have warned could be leveraged by nation-states to carry out cyber attacks.

 

 

Reuters reported in June that McAfee was among several Western technology companies that had acceded in recent years to greater demands by Moscow for access to source code, the instructions that control basic operations of computer equipment.

 

The reviews, conducted in secure facilities known as "clean rooms" by Russian companies with expertise in technology testing, are required by Russian defense agencies for the stated purpose of ensuring no hidden "backdoors" exist in foreign-made software.



But security experts and former U.S. officials have said those inspections provide Russia with opportunities to find vulnerabilities that could be exploited in offensive cyber operations.

 

McAfee ended the reviews earlier this year after spinning off from Intel in April as an independent company, a McAfee spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters last week.



The company declined to give a precise timeline for when it stopped allowing such reviews.

 

"The new McAfee has defined all its own new processes, reflecting business, competitive and threat landscapes unique to our space," the spokeswoman said. "This decision is a result of this transition effort."

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