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28 Feb, 2019 13:23

Russia can be unplugged from World Wide Web, but it’s not quite ready – co-founder of Kaspersky Lab

Russia can be unplugged from World Wide Web, but it’s not quite ready – co-founder of Kaspersky Lab

By passing a draft internet law, Russia isn’t isolating itself from the rest of the world but is making sure that national networks don’t go down if they are disconnected from the outside, Kaspersky Lab co-founder told RT.

The bill, officially called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers to ensure they can operate even if foreign powers try to take the country offline.

Western mainstream media and Russian opposition pundits rushed to accuse the government of building a “sovereign internet,” similar to what China has built over the years.

But the reality is far more complex, Natalya Kasperskaya, a cybersecurity expert and co-founder of world-renowned Kaspersky Lab, explained. She said the proposed legislation is being misrepresented in the media.

Also on rt.com ‘Vast number of attacks staged from US soil’ – Kremlin about cyber op on Russia

“The law has two components. The first one is to ensure that the internet stays operational if it is shut down from the outside,” she told RT. “There is such a possibility, and we are not quite prepared for that.”

The second part, Kasperskaya said, merely equips Russian authorities with the necessary technical tools to tackle challenges arising from potential attacks on national computer networks.

Russia can be unplugged from World Wide Web, but it’s not quite ready – co-founder of Kaspersky Lab

Nothing in the draft which was passed by MPs earlier this month suggests that the internet would be for ‘domestic consumption only,’ Kasperskaya argued.

The internet would not be internal... It means that if the internet is shut down from the outside, it will continue to operate.

Kasperskaya was also asked about the US military allegedly staging a cyber attack on a Russian firm.

The St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has been accused by Washington of being a “Russian troll factory,” having links to the Kremlin, and being responsible for “sowing discord” amongst Americans in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Moscow consistently denied all accusations, calling them “absurd.”

READ MORE: ‘Who knows what they have in mind?’ Putin says Russia could be cut off from global internet

Kasperskaya said that it was “technically possible” to disconnect a company or a country from the internet.

If some company becomes a target, no matter what are the reasons, you could theoretically block an internet channel so that it doesn't respond... you could send an insider or a Trojan virus and steal information.

The interruption of internet connection is technically possible. It can be fixed in about 15 minutes, that depends on the qualifications of a system administrator,” she explained.

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