Probe finds that contractors working on military code outsourced some tasks to Russian coders
// November 6th, 2015 // Hacking and Security
The state of computer security in America is bad – we all know that. What we didn’t know, was how stupid decisions and lack of oversight contributed to the mess. Today we know that, after conclusion of a four-year probe, contractors who worked on U.S. military code are being fined a combined $12.75 million (for contracts worth $613 million). As it turns out, some contractors outsourced coding tasks to Russian. No words can convey the level of stupidity here (hey, let’s get Al-Qaeda to build US airplanes!).
In the recently unsealed whistleblower complaint, we learn that a longtime Army contractor ratted out his company alleging that they “used Russian programmers who were far cheaper than their clearance-holding US counterparts” (operating within a depressed economy, Russian coders make about 1/3 what America programmers make). In addition, the defense code that was created by Russian programmers was “not checked for back doors, time bombs, or other hidden and malicious triggers”.
The Center for Public Integrity contacted the Defense Information Systems Agency about the case:
“Asked to confirm that the Russians’ involvement in the software work led to the presence of viruses in the U.S. military’s communications systems, Alana Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Defense Information Systems Agency, declined to answer on the grounds that doing so could compromise the agency’s “national security posture.”
Yeah – because commenting on the case would be, eh, stupid.
The companies involved have denied any wrongdoing and of course, only time will tell if the whistleblower will be branded a “traitor” by the US government.
Sources: Gizmodo, Make Use Of
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