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Russia ‘foiled 70 million cyberattacks in 2016’

Russia says it repelled 70 million mostly foreign cyber attacks in 2016. (File photo)

Russia’s principal security service says the country has fended off 70 million cyberattacks targeting its critical information infrastructure over the past year, mostly from abroad.

“Seventy million cyberattacks [targeted] relevant facilities of the Russian Federation during this year,” said Nikolay Murashov, a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), on Tuesday.

He was testifying before a State Duma committee for information policy.

“At present, Russia has sufficient potential in the development of means of information security,” Murashov said, RT reported Wednesday.

The development came after recent claims by the administration of former US president Barack Obama that Russia hacked into computer networks linked to the Democratic Party to tilt the 2016 presidential election in favor of the then-candidate Donald Trump. Obama vowed unspecific counter-measures.

According to the report, the parliamentary committee meeting which Murashov was testifying at deliberated over a bill that requires all companies deemed to be a part of Russia’s critical infrastructure to be equipped with tools to counter potential cyberattacks.

The bill is titled “On the Security of Critical Infrastructure of the Russian Federation” and stipulates that companies listed as belonging to critical infrastructure also report potential hacking attempts against them to relevant state institutions and cooperate in subsequent investigations.

Earlier this month, chief of Russia’s Security Council Nikolay Patrushev told the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta that Moscow had witnessed “a growing number of attempts to inflict damage on Russian information systems from abroad” by means of hacking attacks and unlawful collection of personal data.

Patrushev said that while the former Obama administration was constantly accusing Russia of hacking, “all major internet servers are located on US territory and are used by Washington for intelligence and other purposes aimed at retaining [US] dominance in the world.”

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