Russia plans to disconnect the country from the Internet for a limited period of time to conduct a test aimed at assessing the security of its infrastructure. Russian citizens will be able to reach only Internet resources within the national territory, any other only resource hosted outside the country will be not reachable.
The news was reported by the Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK), the experiment could be conducted before April 1st.
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
“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.” reported ZDNet.
“Roskomnazor will inspect the traffic to block prohibited content and make sure traffic between Russian users stays inside the country, and is not re-routed uselessly through servers abroad, where it could be intercepted.”
The experiment has been agreed in a session of the Information Security Working Group at the end of January. The Group includes InfoWatch, MegaFon, Beeline, MTS, RosTelecom, and other major companies in the country.
All internet providers agreed with the law’s goals, but the technical implementation raises many concerns bacause experts believe it could cause major disruptions to Russian internet traffic. Anyway the goal of the project
“Natalya Kaspersky [President InfoWatch company] confirmed to RBC that at the meeting of the working group, a bill was discussed on the sustainability of the Runet for external shutdown.” reported RBK agency,
“All participants in the discussion agree that he has good goals, but the mechanisms for its implementation raise many questions and disputes. Moreover, the methods of its implementation have not yet been precisely defined. Therefore, they came to the conclusion that market participants need to organize exercises or something similar in order to understand how this can all be implemented in practice” said Kaspersky.
According to Finanz.ru, local internet services Mail.ru and Yandex.ru were also supportive of the test.