Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Russia Plans To Temporarily Disconnect Entire Country From Internet Before April

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Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2019, 19:32

Russia's telecoms would have to re-route the country's internet traffic to exchange points approved by Russian telecom watchdog Roskomnazor so it can block prohibited content and ensure traffic doesn't pass through foreign servers, CNET sister site ZDNet reported Monday.

The planned unplugging is part of a cyber war-gaming exercise to make sure Russian Federation can still operate even if it is disconnected from outside its borders.

The formal objective of the new test is to ensure that the Russian internet can function independently in the event that access is cut off by other countries. The Russian state is said to have been behind several large scale attacks on Western governments in recent years, using anonymous hacker groups such as APT 28, which is also known as Fancy Bear, as cover.

The plan is part of a draft law, called Digital Economy National Program, which was submitted to Russia's parliament previous year, BBC News reports, citing Russian media.

The government has agreed to provide funding towards these tests and goals, which are not now scheduled but are meant to take place before April 1.

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Russian legislators have given tentative approval to a draft legislation that could cut off Russia from the global internet.

The draft Digital Economy National Program would see Russian Federation establish its own version of the net's address system, called a DNS, that would allow the country to remain online if it got cut off from global servers. Russian Federation is accused of cyber attacks on other nations and organisations, including interference in Western elections and referendums.

The Russian government is providing cash for ISPs to modify their infrastructure so the redirection effort can be properly tested. But it also is meant to test if all Russian internet traffic can be gathered and routed through a few points controlled by government sources.

Russian Federation service providers as a whole have been working towards this disconnect for several years but are still unsure of exactly how to perform the disconnect to minimize downtime.

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