National Control Centre designed to ensure Russian IT security

A new National Control Centre of Defence is intended to combat cyber-threats targetting Russia and its governmental websites.

Valery Gerasimov, head of the Russian General Staff
Valery Gerasimov, head of the Russian General Staff

The Russian Ministry of Defence has officially announced the establishment of a National Control Centre of Defence (NCCD), a new scientific and analysis centre for the Russian army, which will focus on computer, cyber and other threats to the country's national security.

According to Lieutenant General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the centre, the NCCD is equipped with one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, which will be able to collate all the cyber-threats identified by Russian law enforcement agencies and design ways and approaches to fight them. Agencies involved include the «K» department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, focused on the fight against crimes in the field of IT, as well as illicit trafficking of radio-electronic equipment and special technical devices, as well as the Main Intelligence Directorate, the foreign military intelligence, the main directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The new centre will operate on the basis of constantly updating data and will also focus on the monitoring of social networks with the aim of preventing extremist propaganda, civil unrest and violent anti-government protest.

It will also aim to predict future developments in national security issues on the basis of available data.

Finally, the new centre will focus on the provision of IT security for web-sites belonging to Russian military institutions and government agencies and authorities. It will employ more than 500 workers at the initial stage (the majority of which will be senior military officers with higher education in the field of IT and cyber-defence).

Vadim Dengin, first deputy chairman of the Russian Parliament (State Duma) Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications of and one of instigators of the new centre, comments:  “(Cyber) space is a serious environment where confrontation  between world powers currently takes place. An example of this is the case of Edward Snowden, and recent scandals regarding the illegal activities of the US National Security Agency. Russia needs such a centre, which will protect the Russian segment of the Internet and its governmental web-sites.”

According to sources close to Valery Gerasimov, head of the Russian General Staff, the establishment of the new centre will also help to prevent cyber-attacks on the web-sites of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and president of Russia, which occurred on the eve of the referendum in Crimea in 2014. At that time hackers were able to cause a temporary suspension of operation of the web-sites.

Technologies used in the establishment of the new centre and the names of vendors  supplying  them have not been disclosed, due to issues of national security. However, according to analysts from the Russian Association of Enterprises of IT and Computer Technologies, all the computer technologies for the new centre were developed by leading Russian programmers whose names have not been disclosed.

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