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3 Mar, 2017 13:23

Senior security official says number of cyberattacks on Russia jumped three-fold in 2016

Senior security official says number of cyberattacks on Russia jumped three-fold in 2016

The head of Russia’s Security Council has said that the overall number of cyberattacks on Russian state bodies and companies was over 52 million in 2016, more than three times the number registered in the previous year.

Speaking at a Urals regional conference of the heads of Russian security agencies in the city of Kurgan, Nikolay Patrushev emphasized that the main goals of all of these attacks was the disruption of the work of hardware, including the networks that service the Russian segment of the internet and obtaining classified information through clandestine deployment of various means of computer surveillance.

He also listed a number of factors that undermined Russia’s defenses from cyberattacks, such as unsanctioned access to the internet, low qualification of ordinary users and the lack of division between data streams. He also noted that IT departments of state agencies lacked skilled professionals.

In order to improve the situation in the IT-security sphere, Patrushev demanded that before the end of the year security officials in the Urals Region complete the connection of information networks of state agencies to the ‘state segment of the internet’ – the dedicated protected part of the web.

Patrushev has already attracted public attention to the increase of anti-Russian activities in the cyber sphere. In mid-January this year he noted that a large part of these attempts were made from the servers based in the US, hinting that Barack Obama’s administration must be aware of this fact as it threw unfounded accusations of malicious hacking operations at Russia.

Back then Patrushev said that Russia was pursuing a goal of forming an international system based on common rules of responsible behavior in cyberspace that would be equally applicable to all states.

Over the past few years, the head of the Security Council has also been consistently pushing for the ban on foreign-made software and foreign commercial internet services, such as instant messengers, by Russian civil servants. He has many times stated that such practices allowed criminals and foreign intelligence specialists to access both Russian state secrets in economic and defense sector and the personal data of Russian citizens.