Russian Federation plans to unplug from internet in cyber-defense test

Posted February 14, 2019

Russian Federation is going to temporarily unplug from the internet as part of what the country is calling a planned experiment.

The test is scheduled to be held before the 1st of April.

While Russia is disconnected from the broader internet, it is proposed that Russian watchdog Roskomnadzor will determine whether Russian users can transmit data to each other without the possibility of global interception.

For a limited period of time, the Russian government will completely disconnect Russia from the global internet. In addition to that, the test will allow centralized control to all of the national internet traffic and also minimize the transfer of data to foreign servers.

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Authors of the initiative say Russian Federation must ensure the security of its networks after US President Donald Trump unveiled Washington's new cybersecurity strategy past year, which threatened to respond to any cyber attack both offensively and defensively.

The proposed experiment is a part of the government's efforts to collect information and provide feedback and suggestions to legislation proposed by the Russian lawmakers in December 2018. As per the new DNS, the easier to remember domain names will be replaced by resources' numerical addresses, thereby safeguarding Russia' domains against potential attacks.

Reports say Russian legislators have given tentative approval to a draft legislation that could isolate the country's internet.

Average Russians would not lose internet access; the plan would instead change how internet traffic is handled on the back-end.

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The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online "iron curtain", passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament. Reportedly, the Russian state is accused to be behind various large scale attacks on Western governments in the past years, working with anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

The exercise follows aspirations of building an autonomous Internet infrastructure with the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Internet providers would have agreed with the proposal, but not with the technical measures that have to be taken.

Russian Federation is preparing itself to be disconnected from the World Wide Web.

Moscow is seen to be moving toward a model similar to the "great firewall" of China, where certain keywords are blocked and users can't connect to blacklisted sites including Facebook.

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