This week's cyberattack, which is wreaking plenty of havoc across the globe, is just the latest in a growing list of attacks Russia is suspected of launching against nations around the world.

At the same time, though, Western tech companies, including IBM and Cisco, are allowing Russian authorities to review some of their security products’ source code, according to an investigation by Reuters.

The report, “Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets,” finds that:

“Russian authorities are asking Western tech companies to allow them to review source code for security products such as firewalls, anti-virus applications and software containing encryption before permitting the products to be imported and sold in the country.”

“The requests, which have increased since 2014, are ostensibly done to ensure foreign spy agencies have not hidden any ‘backdoors’ that would allow them to burrow into Russian systems.”

“Those inspections also provide the Russians an opportunity to find vulnerabilities in the products' source code - instructions that control the basic operations of computer equipment.”

There are no known cyberattacks or hacks that originated as a result of information gained through the review process, according to the report.

But current and former US officials and security experts say they are concerned about the vulnerabilities these reviews could expose and how they might be used.

“The demands are being made by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which the U.S. government says took part in the cyberattacks on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the 2014 hack of 500 million Yahoo email accounts. The FSB, which has denied involvement in both the election and Yahoo hacks, doubles as a regulator charged with approving the sale of sophisticated technology products in Russia,” the report reads. 

Read the full report here or listen to an interview with one of its authors by clicking the "play" button above.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI