At the end of last year the alarm bells were ringing. Researchers discovered that Russian spies had dug themselves deep into the networks of several US federal networks months earlier. The spies who work for Russia’s foreign intelligence service first targeted SolarWinds, an IT company whose software helps remotely manage the networks of thousands of corporations, Fortune 500 organizations, and federal agencies. By breaking into SolarWinds’ network and providing their customers with a contaminated software update, the Russian spies delivered digital backdoors right into the heart of the US federal government.

It was and is, according to some reports, one of the most complicated acts of cyber espionage to become public knowledge in recent years. But it was the delivery mechanism that scared: How could companies trust that the software on their networks was not tampered with?

It’s one of the problems five former Google employees are trying to solve. Dan…



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