Russian government investigates cyber-attacks on Kremlin websites

News by Eugene Gerden

Russian government investigates series of attacks while considering measures to secure itself from future cyber incidents.

The Russian government is continuing to investigate recent attacks on the websites of the Kremlin, the Central Election Commission of Russia and some other state bodies.

Multiple, coordinated attacks were timed to coincide with the single voting day for Russia's regional parliaments on 13 September.

The investigation is currently under the personal control of Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Putin claims that the number and intensity of hacker attacks on websites and information resources of the national government and state bodies in recent months has increased several times over.

Putin attributes this to worsening international relations due to the crisis in Ukraine which have resulted in sanctions being imposed on Russia.

According to Dmitry Peskov, Putin's official spokesman, the latest cyber-attack was very strong but has not resulted in any serious failures and malfunctions of government web resources.

The  Russian Federal Security Service (FSS) says cyber-criminals are constantly improving the technology which they use to attack Russian web resources. At the same time, according to the FSS's information, the majority of these attacks are conducted from abroad.

They point the finger of blame at hacker groups as well as nation states.  

Due to the growing number of cyber-attacks, the Russian government plans to significantly increase the budget for maintaining and protecting websites and key informational resources which are used by the government and state bodies.

However, the government says there are no plans for any fundamental changes to the existing state strategy of cyber-security in Russia.

It has previously imposed a partial ban on foreign technology seen as a threat to national security which includes banning government officials from using Google and WhatsApp.

According to Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the security council of the Russian Federation (a consultative body that works out President Putin's decisions on national security affairs), there has been a significant rise in DDoS attacks against the Russian state this year on top of the 57 million attacks it suffered last year.

At the same time the Russian government has no plans to restrict access to the internet and put it under total control.

Instead, the government plans to create parallel networks, to run alongside the public internet, to increase the security of Russian communications and preserve its access to the global internet.

Meanwhile, an announcement of the results of the investigation into the 13 September attacks has been promised by 15 October. 

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