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Russia Planning to Briefly Unplug From the Rest of the Internet

Russia: The Russian government is currently finalizing plans to briefly unplug from the rest of the internet as part of a cyberwarfare test.  Russia’s concern is that in the event of a major conflict, that other nations would attempt to cut them off from internet access either as part of an attack or in sanctions against Russia.  The test is scheduled to take place prior to April 1st of this year, but an exact date has not been set at this time. One of Russia’s biggest concerns is whether or not they can continue to operate any websites within Russia if links to DNS servers were cut. Currently 12 organizations oversee the root DNS servers, and none are located in Russia.  Russia does however, house copies of current DNS records domestically.  Part of this test will include Russian ISP’s proving that they are capable of directing traffic through government-controlled routing points, which will filter traffic ensuring that domestic traffic reaches its destination, but internationally destined traffic is blocked.

Analyst Notes

It is possible that the real reason for Russia requiring ISP’s to route traffic through government-controlled routing points is to allow for greater government control of the content being accessed by Russian citizens–allowing them to have censorship similar to that which is exercised by the Chinese government, following the conclusion of this exercise.