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President Putin orders FSB to protect media sites from cyber attack

Published time: January 21, 2013 10:38
Edited time: January 21, 2013 14:38
RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin

RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin

The Russian President has told the country’s federal security service to set up a system that would detect, counter and prevent computer attacks on state information resources.

The order defines official resources as information systems and networks that are located in the territory of the Russian Federation and in its diplomatic and consular offices.

The work and control over the system will be run by the FSB. The state security department will also cooperate with other state ministries and agencies to ensure anti-terrorist cyber systems work properly. Putin’s order published on an official web site on Monday states that law enforcers should establish how several recent cyber attacks against government agencies have been allowed to happen.

In recent years there have been a number of attacks but only a few claimed to be successful.The attacks are mostly launched through networks of infected computers belonging to unsuspecting users, which makes the work of FSB specialists difficult.

It has been established that in early May 2012 some internet activists who claimed to belong to the Anonymous hackers’ group promised to launch an attack on Russian government web-sites to support the rally against alleged election violations that took place in early May.

The attacks by Anonymous yielded at least one result – on May 9 the hackers managed to block access to the Russian President’s official web-site kremlin.ru for about four hours.

Before that, hackers who claimed to belong to the Anonymous group, managed to deface the web-sites of some regional offices of Russian parliamentary majority United Russia, posting texts that accused top officials of corruption.

Due to the Anonymous group being very loose and evasive such cases are rarely investigated with success.

However, in mid-January this year, the FSB directorate for the Krasnoyarsk Region in Siberia filed a case in court against a local hacker who is suspected of attacks on the Russian President’s web-site in May. The activist has been charged with spreading malicious software, which is a criminal offence punishable with up to four years in prison.

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