The Russian government wants to replace Microsoft software with Russian software in its offices. The municipality of Moscow is the first place where Microsoft software is replaced, an anonymous American intelligence official told NBC News.
Russian president Putin reportedly targets Microsoft because it’s the largest IT company in Russia. Another reason would be that it would be easy to convince Russians that Microsoft conspires with the American government.
Part of the plan is also that Russia wants to block LinkedIn. Microsoft wants to acquire the social network for $26 billion, but the deal hasn’t received regulatory approval yet. LinkedIn is appealing an injunction, with a decision expected on November the 10th.
Microsoft denies to be cooperating with governments to spy on users of its software. Governments even have the possibility to review source code of Microsoft products so they can verify they are secure.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said “Putin as an old KGB officer views the world as a zero-sum game between Russia and the U.S., whatever is good for the U.S. is bad for Russia and vice versa.”
A factor might be that Russia is preparing for retaliation after hackers with ties to the Russian government attacked the American Democrats, where they stole documents that they passed on to Wikileaks.
Earlier this month president Obama stated he was considering a ‘proportional’ counter attack.
Tuesday Microsoft announced that hacker group Fancy Bear, that was responsible for the hack on the Democrats, is likely also guilty of abusing a large Windows leak. That leak will be patched next Tuesday, on the day of the American presidential elections.