Russian Federation plans to temporarily disconnect the entire country from the internet

13 February, 2019, 15:52 | Author: Carlos George
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The country's plan to disconnect itself from the rest of the connected world is to ensure complete control of its Internet traffic and to build a deep moat to isolate RusNet and all computer networks from any external cyber attacks. The goal of the experiment is to provide feedback and gather insight on how the Russian national intranet would perform if severed from the main internet backbone, ZDNet reports. In addition to being able to disconnect from the broader Internet, the proposed law also requires ISPs to install equipment to reroute all Russian traffic through the Roskomnazor, the government body that is responsible for censorship and tracking the online activities of Russian citizens.

"This is very serious", the news agency AFP quoted Russian security analyst Andrei Soldatov, the co-author of a book on the history of Internet surveillance in Russia, as saying of the bill.

Basically, Russia is preparing for retaliatory cyber attacks from the United States and other western countries.

As part of the experiment, communications oversight agency Roskomnadzor would examine whether data transmitted between Russia's users can remain in the country without being rerouted to servers overseas, where it could be subjected to interception.

In March 2018, Putin's then-Internet adviser, German Klimenko, said Russian Federation would be prepared with its own segment of the Internet should Western nations seek to punish it by cutting off all access. One measure of the law includes Russian Federation creating its own DNS in case its links to other servers are cut off.

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told Congress last month that Russian Federation, as well as other foreign actors, will increasingly use cyber operations to "threaten both minds and machines in an expanding number of ways-to steal information, to influence our citizens, or to disrupt critical infrastructure".

Russian Federation is planning to briefly disconnect from cyberspace to test its cyber-defences. If service providers were merely limited by certain types of traffic control, however, VPNs could still work.

Ostensibly the goal of the legislation is to protect the Russian internet from the USA, which has an offensive cybersecurity strategy and lists Russia as one of the major sources of hacking attacks.

An intelligence assessment conducted in January 2019 also named Russian Federation and China as major sources of cyber threats and said the two countries were now "more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s".

Under the draft law, all internal internet traffic would be carried within the country's own networks.

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