Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.
The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.
The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.
Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.
Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.
The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.
The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.
Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.
Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.
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