RuNet – Russia successfully concluded tests on its Internet infrastructure

Pierluigi Paganini December 24, 2019

Russia successfully disconnected from the internet

Russia’s government announced that it has successfully concluded a series of tests for its RuNet intranet aimed at country disconnection from the Internet.

The Russian Government has announced on Monday that it has successfully concluded the test on its RuNet intranet and the complete disconnection of the country from the Internet.

“The results of the exercises showed that, in general, both authorities and telecom operators are ready to effectively respond to emerging risks and threats, to ensure the stable functioning of both the Internet and the unified telecommunication network in the Russian Federation,” said the deputy head of the Ministry of Communications Alexey Sokolov.

The exercises aimed at testing and ensuring the integrity and the security of Russia’s Internet infrastructure, so-called RuNet.

The tests were conducted over the past two weeks, the simulation saw the involvement of the country agencies and Internet Service Providers.

The tests were carried out over multiple days, starting last week, and involved Russian government agencies, local internet service providers, and local Russian internet companies.

“The Russian Communications Ministry said on December 23 that the drills were aimed at ensuring the “integrity” of the Internet.” reads a post published by RadioLiberty.

“The purpose of the task is to ensure the reliable operation of the Internet in Russia in any conditions and under any circumstances,” said Aleksei Sokolov, deputy communications minister, in televised remarks on December 23 from the Monitoring and Cyber Threat Response Center.”

The Russian experts tested the RuNet in a scenario that sees it disconnected from the Internet where the Internet traffic was re-routed internally.

The Russian authorities did not reveal the type of tests conducted on its infrastructure, it is only known that the experts also simulated a cyber attack from a foreign state-actor that forced the country from disconnecting from the Internet.

“According to Sokolov, several scenarios were worked out during the exercises. One of them is checking the integrity and security of the Internet as a result of external negative influences.” reported the Tass press agency. “Another was related to the security of cellular subscribers, including the protection of their personal data, the ability to intercept traffic, SMS and disclose information about their location.”

The test results will be presented to Russian President Putin next year.

“Also, together with the Ministry of Emergencies, we evaluated the level of interagency coordination during the repair and construction work on communication networks as a result of emergencies and natural disasters,” added Alexei Sokolov.


The news of the tests of the RuNet was reported by the Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) in early 2019, the tests were planned for April, but they were later delayed.

According to the “The National Digital Economy Program” bill submitted to Parliament in 2018, Russian Internet service providers (ISPs) should ensure operations even if nation-state actors carry out cyber attacks to isolate Russia from the Internet. The authorities want to ensure that the access to Russian Internet resources will be maintained also under attack, to do this, Russian experts are thinking a sort of DNS managed by Moscow.

Currently, among the 12 organizations that oversee DNS base servers worldwide there isn’t an entity in Russia.

ISPs should be able to route traffic through nodes under the control of the Russian Government to allow the connections between Russians entities.

Of course, the concentration of the traffic through nodes controlled by Moscow could open the door to a massive surveillance

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – RuNey, Russia)

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