Russian Federation prepping for U.S. cyber attack by turning off entire internet

Oleg Yakovlev  RBC  TASS

Russian Federation is considering a plan to disconnect from the internet temporarily in order to determine how its cyber-defenses would fare in case of foreign aggression.

The test, expected to be carried out before April 1, will see whether online data can be passed between citizens and organizations inside the country without having to be routed internationally, the report said.

Russian news organisations reported that the nation's ISPs are broadly backing the aims of the draft law but are divided on how to do it.

ZDNet, which originally reported the news in the USA, points out that the experiments are meant to take place before the deadline for Digital Economy National Program law amendment submissions, which is April 1.

The new law states that state internet providers must be ready to ensure Russia's internet runs smoothly and independently in the event of a foreign attack that disconnects the country from the web. ISPs in the region are now preparing to test a system that would re-route web traffic in Russian Federation to exchange points controlled by Russia's telecom agency, Roskomnazor, ZDNet says.

Finanz.ru also reported that local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test disconnection.

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The Russian government has been working on the complex cyber defense tactic for several years.

Russian Federation is planning to temporarily cut off internet access throughout the entire country as it prepares for potential cyber warfare. An alternative localised DNS would allow Runet to function without access to servers located across the world.

The test is being carried out as Russian Federation faces numerous sanctions threats from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and others over its alleged use of cyber-hacking tactics in global espionage.

RosBiznesKonsalting reported that a Kremlin source told the Russian news outlet that President Vladimir Putin supports the proposed law.

According to the BBC, Russia eventually wants all internet traffic to flow through its private network, which could create a system like that in China, where popular websites are banned and internet use is heavily monitored.

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