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Cyber aggression failure, national data defense: Putin’s Security Council speech

The number of cyberattacks on Russian informational infrastructure has been increasing in the recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. The number of cyberattacks on Russian informational infrastructure has increased multifold in the recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, opening a Security Council meeting Friday, adding that a large-scale cyber war is being effectively waged against the country.

Although this aggression has failed, just like the ‘sanctions attack’ against Russia in general, the head of state ordered to develop a national data protection system and promptly develop domestic analogs for foreign-made technologies and equipment.

Here are the key statements made by the president.

The failed aggression

"The number of cyberattacks on Russian informational infrastructure has been increasing in the recent years, all recent years precisely. And once the special military operation in Donbass and Ukraine started, threats in this area have become even sharper and serious, their scale has increased," Putin said. "Effectively, a true aggression has been initiated against Russia, a war in informational space."

"The attacks are coming from different countries, and they are perfectly coordinated. Effectively, these are actions of state agencies. And both you and me know that some foreign countries have quite officially incorporated cyber forces into their armies," the president said.

According to Putin, targeted attempts were made to bring down Russia’s online resources and critical informational infrastructure facilities. Mass media, financial institutions, socially significant websites and networks were the primary targets of these attacks. Severe attacks were also launched against the official websites of government institutions, Putin listed.

"Attempts of breaking into corporate networks of leading Russian companies are also being documented far more frequently," he added.

"Already today we can say that cyber aggression against us, as well as the overall sanctions attack on Russia, has failed. On the whole, we were ready for this attack," Putin said.

Reinforcing defenses

Russian specialists have been seriously working on protection of the informational infrastructure, and they were able to achieve a lot, but such issues must be constantly supervised, Putin opined.

"The nature of challenges and threats is changing dynamically. The information sphere is rapidly developing," the president said.

He stressed that key efforts should be focused on improving and developing mechanisms of information security of critical infrastructure facilities, adding that about one third of such facilities have no special divisions for information security.

He pointed out that enhancing the protection of cyber systems and communication networks in the bodies of government was one of the most important tasks. He remarked that checks conducted in 2021 indicated that most resources there were vulnerable to massive attacks and destructive external influences, particularly those using foreign technologies of the latest generation.

"The defenses of the domestic cyberspace must be protected. There must be no weaknesses. […] I believe it will be expedient to consider creation of a government system of information protection," Putin said.

Independence from foreign technologies

Another challenge for Russia is restriction of access to foreign informational technologies, programs and products, as well as severance of tech support for hardware by a number of Western suppliers, Putin noted.

The processes of digitalization that are actively going on currently in the state control system and in the Russian economy, must be protected from any potential negative outside influence as strongly as possible," the president believes. According to Putin, "the path to achievement of this goal is obvious - transition to domestic hardware, technologies, programs and products."

In order to reinforce Russia’s technological sovereignty, the government must create a modern domestic electronic components base in the shortest term.

"We have been talking about for a long time, we work most actively on this, and I hope that the result will be achieved shortly," Putin said.

It is necessary to develop and introduce domestically-developed technological equipment, including one necessary for production of software-hardware complexes, he noted.

"It is necessary to widely engage instruments and resources of the ‘Digital economy’ national program here," Putin said.