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Putin to bolster Russia’s IT security in face of cyberattacks

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The websites of many state-owned companies and news websites have suffered sporadic hacking attempts since Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the number of cyber attacks on Russia by foreign “state structures” had increased several times over and that Russia must bolster its cyber defences by reducing the use of foreign software and hardware.

The websites of many state-owned companies and news websites have suffered sporadic hacking attempts since Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine on Feb. 24, often to show information that is at odds with Moscow’s official line on the conflict.

“Targeted attempts are being made to disable the Internet resources of Russia’s critical information infrastructure,” Putin said, adding that media and financial institutions had been targeted.

“Serious attacks have been launched against the official sites of government agencies. Attempts to illegally penetrate the corporate networks of leading Russian companies are much more frequent as well,” he said.

In a meeting with the Security Council, Putin said that Russia would need to improve information security in key sectors and switch to using domestic technology and equipment.

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

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

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