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Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Federal Security Service to set up a system to detect, prevent and eliminate the consequences of computer attacks. The decree sets forth the task to secure "information systems and information and telecommunication networks in Russia and at diplomatic missions and consulates abroad.
The document was signed after a case against a 30-year-old resident of Krasnoyarsk, accused of hacker attack on the Russian president's website, was referred to court, the Komsomolskaya Pravda notes.
The attack failed, but this was not the sole instance of cyber attacks on government Internet resources. For example, there was a high-profile attack on the website of Moscow's Khamovniki court as it was reviewing the case against the Pussy Riot punk band.
"The state comes under attack, so it takes measures," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Kommersant in comments on the decree, explaining that "the intensity of cyber attacks had grown in the past 12 months. The president and prime minister's websites come under cyber attacks daily as wrongdoers become increasingly sophisticated." It disrupts the functioning of websites and "causes damage to the state, both moral and material."
A Kommersant source in the presidential administration said the decree pioneers a range of measures to provide security on the Internet; it is possible that the end result might be the development of a certain cyber security strategy for Russia.
"The cyber crime problem is acute the world over, so ignoring it would be not just a folly, but a crime," the source said. However, he noted that the main idea of the presidential decree is to let one agency handle the cyber security problem, which will also be personally responsible."
The Novye Izvestia reminds that this month, Kaspersky Lab which develops anti-virus software, exposed a global cyber espionage network called Red October. For five years, the malware had attacked computers of government organizations, various research institutions including nuclei centers, as well as diplomatic missions abroad.
President of the Association of Internet Publishers Ivan Zasursky said Russia had already made attempts to create "a cap" and a means of control over the Internet, sush as all kinds of monitoring systems."The law on protecting children from information and "extremist" laws are all censorship. What is being offered now is something different. It's a reaction to the discovery of the Red October virus. It became clear that systemic work was underway to get access to secret European resources, including Russian resources. It's another matter where the FSB will have the necessary qualification. Hopefully, they have the whole thing taped."
"It's a fight between secret services. You have to understand that WikiLeaks somehow retrieves documents. This new factor has emerged; it's possible to make tough attacks on all kinds of states by publishing their secret data. But you have to get them somewhere. So this war is permanently on: it's about stealing more that your opponent, understanding and decrypting more. It's interesting to everybody," the specialist said.
Experts believe that protecting from cyber attacks might take just about six months, the Novye Izvestia writes. However, there are also apprehensions that the new system in the hands of secret services will become another instrument of control over a "free-thinking" Internet.