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Putin promises to strengthen Russia's IT security against cyber attacks

Putin promises to strengthen Russia’s IT security against cyber attacks

May 20 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the number of cyber attacks on Russia by foreign “state structures” had increased several times and that Russia should strengthen its cyber defenses by limiting the use of foreign software and hardware.

The websites of many state-owned companies and news sites have been subject to sporadic hacking attempts since Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine on February 24, often to show information that contradicts Moscow’s official line on the conflict.

“There are targeted attempts to disrupt the Internet resources of Russia’s critical information infrastructure,” Putin said, adding that media and financial institutions have been targeted.

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“Serious attacks have been launched on the official websites of government agencies. Attempts to penetrate the corporate networks of leading Russian companies are more frequent,” he said.

At a meeting with the Security Council, Putin said that Russia will need to improve information security in key sectors and switch to the use of domestic technology and equipment.

“Restrictions on foreign information technology, software and products have become one of the tools of sanctions pressure on Russia,” Putin said. “A number of Western suppliers unilaterally stopped technical support for their equipment in Russia.”

He said that cases of software blocking after updating had become more frequent.

data leak

State communications organization Roskomnadzor said on Wednesday it had blocked a website that was hosting the personal data of a number of corporate clients. He did not mention the names of the companies.

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The second largest bank in Russia VTB (VTBR.MM) Some of the clients’ phone numbers were leaked to the media, but there are no risks to their money.

E-commerce company Wildberries and online marketplace Avito denied reports in Russian media that their data had been leaked.

A data leak in early March exposed the personal details of more than 58,000 people on tech giant Yandex’s (YNDX.O) Yandex.Eda food delivery application. Read more

Yandex.Eda’s rival Delivery Club on Friday apologized to users after experiencing a data leak on orders placed by users.

“The data includes information about requests and does not affect bank details. We are doing everything we can to prevent the data from being published,” the TASS news agency quoted the company as saying.

Hacking attacks this month kept video hosting site RuTube offline for three days and changed the lists of satellite TV channels in Moscow on Victory Day, when Russia celebrated the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. Read more

Moscow has long sought to improve its domestic internet infrastructure, even cutting itself off from the global internet during tests last summer.

However, the unprecedented barrage of Western sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine increased pressure to make Russia’s IT systems more resilient.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Kevin Levy

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.