back to article Extreme Networks fesses up to selling kit to Russian hypersonic missile maker

Extreme Networks has admitted to breaching sanctions on Russian businesses by selling some of its products to a company that was sanctioned following Russia's 2014 illegal occupation of Crimea. In a regulatory filing the networking vendor admitted that a former employee who now works for a Russian distributor sold Extreme's …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    From the article: "internal concern at Extreme Networks regarding the transactions was disregarded."

    So, Extreme Networks was internally aware of what was happening, and chose to look elsewhere. That why the sentence "[we] continue to be vigilant in implementing best in class export control processes and controls."" is at best laughable, if not an insult to the audience's intelligence.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I will continue to downvote you whilst you keep putting bring us Dabbsy back at the end of your comments. There's just no need and you are preaching to the wrong audience, in that those that read the comments aren't able to do anything, and your action is better directed at The Register itself.

      If you want him that bad, he has a blog that you can go visit and read everything he has to offer. The fact that he isn't published on this site is not something to keep banging on about, when just a quick hop to another site will solve it for you.

      I know. A tag at the end of a comment shouldn't irritate me as much but it does.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        I know, right? It's so weird, especially given what got Dabbsy canned.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          What got him canned? I've obviously missed something. Quick, reply before they delete!

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Er... I meant he was canned for writing stuff that no-one clicked on. Re-reading, it does sound like I was hinting at something more juicy than that, but sadly not.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I read the reuters report yesterday, and it was both amazing and unsurprising, because it confirms all the worst stereotypes about how a corporation 'works'. Starting with the classic opening of a 'disgruntled employee' and from there it moves on to the 'no knowledge'. No knowledge of such transaction(s) / no knowledge of such business entity / no record of such exchange, etc, etc. Essentially, denials built upon pleas of innocent ignorance. As they say in Russian (and in Ukrainian): How fluffy they are! Hopefully, they'll be ripped to pieces.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of crock

    "continue to be vigilant in implementing best in class export control processes and controls."

    Honestly, even when admitting guilt they still have to quickly add BS. It appears they were neither vigilant, nor were their export controls best in class because of, well, money. Quelle surprise.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extreme, you can start righting your wrongs over here

    https://u24.gov.ua/

    donation of the revenue would be a good start...

    hope this is allowed here.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It can be quite difficult to spot

    I am in the UK. Many years ago at a different company, one of my US colleagues started asking details about how to configure a military grade device - all quite normal as I was the expert, and it was also normal that they did not state the end customer.

    When he started getting quite technical, I checked with his manager and was told that all was above board and that he had personally checked the end company as per my request.

    Later I received a trace of the output of a couple of commands. Clear as day was the login header showing the company name. Simple lookup found that it was based in Argentina who was on the UK banned list! The US colleagues had checked with US lists, but not UK.

    UK legal fessed-up to the authorities and gave the US legal team a b0ll0cking. US legal believing that everyone is subject to their laws, returned the metaphorical middle finger.

    Despite out performing on all my metrics in that year and my managers recommending it, I didn't get a salary increase. I can't help but think that the US Head Office had something to do with that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US legal believing that everyone is subject to their laws

      I erroneously received a subpoena to appear at a US Supreme Court hearing, due to them miss-spelling the guilty parties company email address. (Not even in the same company as me.) I know that he was guilty, as his colleagues (also in on it) had made the same mistake on an email containing seriously incriminating evidence. (I did anonymously forward the email to their companies whistle blower account - hence why I am posting anonymously.) I had months of hassle over it, including a visit from my countries Special Police Force. In the end I had to go all the way to my countries Foreign Minister to get the US off my back with their threats of extradition. It puts you off the US authorities!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It can be quite difficult to spot

      particularly if all levels of command, from top to bottom, PREFER to look the other way.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who did they piss off?

    Either that or they're not big or clever enough to make the right noises, because everyone is selling almost everything to everyone else, and have always been.

  6. martinusher Silver badge

    Blurred Lines

    A business is a business so even if you happen to be in the weapons trade you'll still have accounting, sales, marketing, human resources and other normal departments. In addition its rather difficult to discriminate between "Weapons Inc." and "Personnel Services Inc. (who has Weapons Inc as a customer)". Its only in the bowels of government bureaucracy that they'd even think it possible.

    But then they've got form. I've been colliding with export restrictions for over 40 years and the assumption by the US is that they 'own' all technology so that anything they say goes globally, even if none of the kit originates in the US. Back then it was keeping the stuff out of the hands of the commies. These days its -- believe it or not -- all about keeping the stuff out of the hands of the commies. Even if they're actually making the stuff. Or even if they're not commies. Or whatever. Its not just a job for the bureaucrats, its a lifetime career.

  7. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    What's in a name?

    Avangard is the name of Russia's hypersonic missiles, which are thought to have been used against Ukraine during the ongoing illegal invasion. In June, Russian newswire TASS reported a second missile regiment armed with the weapons was to assume combat ready status.

    Err.. I know it's not a reliable source, but-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avangard_(hypersonic_glide_vehicle)

    The Avangard (Russian: Авангард; English: Vanguard; previously known as Objekt 4202, Yu-71 and Yu-74) is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) that can be carried as a MIRV payload by the UR-100UTTKh,[7][8] R-36M2 and RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBMs. It can deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads.

    I don't think things have gotten so bad that Russia's launching ICBMs. Yet. I also rather hope they're not likely to, especially as the EU's busily shipping ABM defence systems to Ukraine. While at the same time hyping up the threat of Russian nuclear strikes. The logic escapes me, but then I'm an engineer, not a politician.

    But Vanguard is a common word, used in many places. Like our current class of SSBNs. Or in an Extreme sense, some neat little routers-

    https://www.raymarinc.co.uk/routers-fiber-serial.html

    Which were previously Motorola, then Vanguard, now Raymar. Also were rather good from a price/performance/features PoV. First encountered when I well-known high street retailer asked if we supported them. Errmm.. But client was using a nifty lil router that had built-in wireless and 3G for around 1/3rd of a Cisco's deck of cards. And a far simpler (and cheaper) support model. But I digress. If Extreme sold tin to a company on an export control list, that's an oopsie. But that's also sales. The price of eternal freedom is eternal vigilance, especially for anyone who's worked in sales and knows they should be watched closely to prevent situations like this. Especially in 'sales driven' companies who care more about commissions than seeing their execs end up in jail. Especially if they're American execs.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      "the EU's busily shipping ABM defence systems to Ukraine. While at the same time hyping up the threat of Russian nuclear strikes. The logic escapes me"

      What part of 'we send missile defence systems to people threatened by missile attacks' are you struggling with? Do you think Russia's delivery system is something else?

      Russian ICBMs are obviously not a threat these days - Western anti-ICBM defences will make short work of Cold War era ICBMs, just as we've seen with all the other outdated Russian military hardware coming up against modern weapons systems.

      Short range tactical missiles in sufficient quantities to flood defences could potentially carry nukes to strike targets in Ukraine, Poland, maybe even Berlin. So that's what the worry is, and that's why defence systems for those kinds of missiles are being prioritised.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name?

        Russian ICBMs are obviously not a threat these days - Western anti-ICBM defences will make short work of Cold War era ICBMs, just as we've seen with all the other outdated Russian military hardware coming up against modern weapons systems.

        Errm.. those would be the missile defence systems currently being shipped to Ukraine. Plus systems like the German IRIS-T have never really been tested, so it's a good opportunity to see if they work. But this is also what the article gets wrong, ie Avangard isn't a missile. It's a hypersonic glide vehicle carried by ICBMs to make interception a whole lot harder. And if we really were thinking there's a real risk of Russia going nuclear, we'd be buying and activating more ABM defence systems, not giving them to Ukraine. So kinda going back to the old Cold War days and having our coastline guarded by Bloodhounds.

        Short range tactical missiles in sufficient quantities to flood defences could potentially carry nukes to strike targets in Ukraine, Poland, maybe even Berlin.

        Most of Russia's ICBMs carry decoys for that purpose. According to rumor, the current missile attacks on Ukraine have also used a lot of decoys to both waste Ukraine's SAMs, and also gather intelligence regarding their location and reload rates. Once Ukraine's out of long/medium range SAMs, Russia has an easier time gaining air superiority and using it's bombers.

      2. EvilDrSmith

        Re: What's in a name?

        I'm reasonably certain that most of the western SAM systems rated as Anti-ballistic Missile systems can (supposedly) intercept things like SCUD and Iskander; I'm not sure any can (reliably) take out an ICBM (or the warheads released by such). If they could, that would effectively undermine the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal, which would have been viewed as provocative/destabilising/liable to trigger WWIII while the Russians thought that their missiles might still get through.

        Whether the Russian ICBMs (and SLBMs) would actually work if fired is another matter.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's in a name?

        > What part of 'we send missile defence systems to people threatened by missile attacks' are you struggling with?

        The part where our political "representatives" here in the West decide to use Ukrainians as cannon fodder to further whatever strategic interests the US wants to have, regardless of how unreasonable and destabilising those are.

        Personally, I want to see my politicians pushing for peace talks, not funding a war by proxy with my own taxes.

        And don't give me any of that Chamberlain crap: it's very convenient to start writing the victor's history at that point in time handily forgetting the immense pressure and humiliation that Germany had been put under with Versailles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a name?

      According to the Reuters report ["Special Report: U.S. firm supplied networking tech to maker of Russian missiles"] (and they claim to be the originator of this story, with investigative input) "MMZ Avangard is maker of missile used in recent Ukraine attack". Not the name of the missile.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name?

        This article said-

        Avangard is the name of Russia's hypersonic missiles, which are thought to have been used against Ukraine during the ongoing illegal invasion

        But again, it's a common name. Easiest thing to check is the actual list of sanctioned entities. Or wiki again-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Machine_Building_Plant_%22Avangard%22

        MMZ Avangard (Russian: Московский машиностроительный завод "Авангард") is a Moscow-based manufacturer and the sole supplier of missiles for the S-400 system. It is part of the Almaz-Antey group

        Which I guess if I were feeling particularly pedantic, is a defensive missile. Unless you're flying the plane it's being fired at. There was no real reason to try and link it to current events, violation of US/UK/EU sanctions is plenty enough to cause trouble, especially for US companies.

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Meh

    Miss take, another job function now

    Given the current economic and post pandemic working world, I wonder if this was just a result of the Russian customer placing an order before the Ukraine mess and then someone given the job of getting this paperwork done and an order shipped afterwards when they had never been involved with these issues before? People talk about seeing delays everywhere in the business world - these are usually a result of people trying to get things done that they have never done before to try and help their employer get things done. It doesn't help to punish people for stupidity that they never knew about, it's much better to work at making sure the problems don't reoccur so that we all get a better world in future.

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