Russian Federation planning to disconnect from global network with separate internet system

Leroy Wright
February 12, 2019

A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament past year.

Russian Federation is planning to disconnect its internet infrastructure from the global network - as a test of its cyber-defences.

The lower house of Russia's parliament has passed the first reading of a bill to create a self-standing Russian segment of the internet.

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

In addition, Russian telecom firms would also have to install "technical means" to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved or managed by Roskomnazor, Russia's telecom watchdog.

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He added that it will be hard for them to shut down all the outside router points if they want to carry out the test, since they have to attack different servers from hundreds of providers, while only some of the providers are Russian companies.

Under the proposed law, Russian Federation wants to build its own version of the net's address system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), which could still operate if links to foreign-based servers were disconnected.

But Russia's path toward an isolated local internet for some time. There has been talk of increased sanctions against Russian Federation by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, in retaliation for cyber attacks and other online intrusions Russian Federation is accused of carrying out.

Russian internet providers have reportedly been tasked by April 1, to come up with a way that the country could reliably shield itself from cyberattacks.

The Russian government, however, has promised to foot the bill to help concerned ISPs pay the costs related to new infrastructure and servers that will be required under the new law. 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.

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