Russia to disconnect from global internet to test its cyber-defences

Russia is planning to temporarily disconnect from the global internet to test its defences in the event of any potential cyber-attacks.

Russia Information Security Working Group, which consists of major telecoms operators, suggested the experiment in order to test the provisions of the Digital Economy National Programme, news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported.

Digital Economy National Programme

The draft law, which was approved by the government last year, makes sure it internet provision, known as Runet, can continue to operate even if it loses connection to international servers.

It also proposes that ISP (Internet Service Providers) will have to direct data to government-controlled routing points, to ensure that data is not redirected to computers outside of Russia.

In a Working Group Session at the end of January, telecom operators including Megafon,  Beeline, MTS, Rostelecom, and others said they agreed with the law’s goals, but disagreed with technical implications, which they said would interrupt Russia’s internet traffic.

They suggested disconnecting from the internet to learn more about how their networks would react.

“The methods of (the law’s) implementation have not yet been precisely defined,” said Natalya Kaspersky, co-founder of Moscow-based IT security firm Kaspersky Lab, who chairs the Working Group.

“Therefore, they came to the conclusion that market participants need to organise exercises or something similar in order to understand how this can all be implemented in practice.” also reported that email services including and also supported the test.

According to a ZDNet report, the Russian government has been working on this project for a number of years. In 2017, Russian authorities said they plan to route 95% all traffic within the country by 2020.

ISP compensation

Authorities have even built its own Domain Name System (DNS) which they first tested in 2014, and again in 2018, and which will now be a major component of the Runet when ISPs plan to disconnect its internet servers from other countries.

The Russian government will compensate ISP to modify their infrastructure so that the redirection effort can be properly tested.

The tests are scheduled to take place sometime before 1st April 2018, but no exact dates are set.


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