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Russian official welcomes source code agreement with Microsoft

Moscow, 20 January: Now that Microsoft has given Russia the source code for the Windows operating system, the Russian sector of the Internet global network can be made more secure, particularly when it comes to protection from hackers.

This opinion has been voiced by Yevgeniy Karavayeshnikov, head of the main directorate for state bodies' information resources at the Russian Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information [FAPSI]. He told journalists that analysis of the source code, which will make it possible to improve security on Windows-operated information systems, will start in February and the first results are expected by the end of the year.

Karavayeshnikov gave an example based on the security of resources at the directorate which he heads. This sort of work there has already made it possible to reduce the damage caused by hackers from 20 "hackings" a month to two or three a year, even though there are up to 400,000 attempts at it every month. He said that FAPSI specialists had already been able independently to get to know some of the details of the Windows system and noted that, now they had the source code, their task had become considerably easier. Now the experts can work on future Microsoft developments, not just on products which have already become available on the world market, Karavayeshnikov explained.

Under the agreement which has been reached the computer giant will give its Russian partners the source codes for the Windows-XP operating system as well as the very latest Windows Server-2003 which has not yet come onto the market.

The agreement to hand over the Windows source code which was announced today was reached within the framework of a Microsoft global programme to increase the information security of state institutions and international organizations. Russia is the first of 60 countries taking part in the programme to announce that such an agreement has been reached.

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