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Russia must use its own software to be protected from cyberattacks — Dr. Web chief

The chief of Russia’s anti-virus developer Doctor Web believes the Russian government offices should replace foreign software and equipment

MOSCOW, November 7. /TASS/. The chief executive officer of Russia’s anti-virus developer Doctor Web, Boris Sharov, believes that to protect itself from the risk of the United States’ cyberattacks Russian government offices should replace foreign software and equipment with domestically produced counterparts.

"It remains to be hoped the government will provide an adequate response to that threat to systematically rid its agencies of foreign computer systems and software," Sharov told TASS in the wake of media reports US military hackers had penetrated Russian computer systems, including those used by the Kremlin.

He said Russia’s dependence on US IT solutions constituted "the most serious issue regardless of whether it was true US hackers have managed to get into the Kremlin’s information systems."

"It is enough to look around to see how many computer systems and services, provided by US companies, are deeply integrated in our life. Nobody will swear that at a certain point all computer devices crucial to many, if not all management and life support processes in our country are based on will not turn into ‘useless bricks,’ throwing our society several decades back in time," Sharov said.

Earlier, the president of the Russian Information Democracy Development Fund, Ilya Massoukh, too, emphasized the need for import substitution to ensure the invulnerability of government IT systems from US hackers. In an interview to TASS he speculated that the warnings of likely cyberattacks from the United States against Russia looked more like election rhetoric than a real threat. Russian presidential adviser for Internet development affairs, German Klimenko, agrees.

US hackers vs Kremlin

The US television network NBC has quoted senior sources in the US intelligence community as saying US military hackers had penetrated into computer networks responsible for running Russia’s power supply system, telecommunication systems and also the Kremlin’s servers. The NBC claimed the hackers had made Russian networks vulnerable to US cyberattacks.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said the security of Russia’s computer systems was maintained at a level adequate to the current threats.

Earlier, US officials repeatedly accused Russia some hackers allegedly working for the Russian government were attacking the servers of US government offices and presidential candidates. Retaliation threats were voiced. Moscow dismissed such allegations as groundless and deserving no attention.