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Russia to create ‘cyber-troops’ – Ministry of Defense

Russia to create ‘cyber-troops’ – Ministry of Defense
The Russian Defense Ministry plans to create a separate branch of military forces this year, aimed at combating cyber-attacks.

The main tasks of these ‘troops’  include monitoring and processing external information, as well as fighting  cyber threats, said Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Oleg Ostapenko, as cited by RIA Novosti news agency.

According to the head of the Russian Fund of Perspective Research, Andrey Grigoriev - who earlier confirmed the ministry’s plans - said that he and his colleagues have been “cooperating with potential candidates with whom they plan to work with.” He added that the concept of ‘cyber-troops’ is still being formed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Friday that Russia needs to effectively combat cyber threats.

"We need to be prepared to effectively combat threats in cyberspace. To increase the level of protection in the appropriate infrastructure, particularly the information systems of strategic and critically important facilities,” Putin said during a Security Council meeting dedicated to the improvement of military organization in Russia.

Putin noted that the so-called "information attacks" are already being applied to solve problems of a military and political nature. He acknowledged that their "striking force" may be higher than those of conventional weapons.

On August 1, the Russian President signed a new cyber security doctrine that outlines cyber attacks as a major threat to international security. The doctrine also suggests that such threats be combated with a special international body.

The main threats mentioned in the doctrine were internet technology as an “informational weapon used for military-political, terrorist and criminal ends” as well as attempts of “intervention into other nations’ internal affairs,” the Kommersant daily reported.

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that the doctrine was prepared, at least partially, in response to the International Strategy for Cyberspace - approved by the United States in 2011. However, it is less harsh than the US policy, which equates cyber-attacks to conventional warfare.

Moscow’s approach includes cooperation with international bodies and the approval of the UN convention on international cyber security. The doctrine mentions developing “internationally accepted rules of behavior in cyber space” by imposing an international law that would “prevent the proliferation of the informational weapons.”

The worldwide web is currently managed mainly by the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). However, the doctrine proposes making control accessible to all nations.