Microsoft has signed a deal to open its Windows 7 source code up to the Russian intelligence services.
Russian publication Vedomosti reported on Wednesday that Microsoft had also given the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) access to Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server source code, with hopes of improving Microsoft sales to the Russian state.
The agreement will allow state bodies to study the source code and develop cryptography for the Microsoft products through the Science-Technical Centre 'Atlas', a government body controlled by the Ministry of Communications and Press, according to Vedomosti.
Microsoft Russia president Nikolai Pryanishnikov told Vedomosti that employees of Atlas and the FSB will be able to share conclusions about Microsoft products.
The agreement is an extension to a deal Microsoft struck with the Russian government in 2002 to share source code for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2000, said Vedomosti.
A senior security source with links to the UK government told ZDNet UK on Wednesday that the 2002 deal was part of Microsoft's Government Security Program. Nato also signed up, said the source. Having a number of different governments with access to Microsoft code meant it was possible that a government could find holes in the code and use it to exploit another nation-state's systems, said the source.