Russia discovers its own medicine as hackers target the country

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The world is used to Russian hackers posing a serious threat to businesses and infrastructure, but things have changed and Russia is now increasingly at the center of attacks.

As Reuters reports(Opens in a new window), Vladimir Putin today held a meeting with the Security Council of the Russian government during which cyberattacks were the main concern. Apparently, the number of attacks targeting state-owned companies, financial institutions, medical providers and news websites in the country have increased many times.

Putin said: “Targeted attempts are underway to disable Internet resources of Russia’s critical information infrastructure”, and that “Serious attacks have been launched against the official websites of government agencies. Attempts to penetrate illegally in the corporate networks of major Russian companies are much more common too.”

Notable targets of these attacks are Russia’s second-largest bank VTB, online marketplace Avito, e-commerce company Wildberries, technology company Yandex, food delivery company Delivery Club, and hosting website RuTube videos. Putin thinks the best countermeasure is to focus on domestic technology and equipment, while acknowledging that sanctions have halted technical support for foreign software and products.

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Focusing on domestic technology to make IT systems more resilient may prove much more difficult than Putin thinks. With access to the latest computer hardware gone, it looks like Russia’s computing future hinges on a slow Chinese x86 processor and legalizing software piracy. And who will carry out the necessary work to improve the protection of state systems, with inmates having computer skills?

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