Putin promises to bolster Russia’s IT security

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.

Read more: Putin says sanctions hurting West more than Russia

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.

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

He said cases of programmes getting blocked after being updated were becoming more frequent.

Data leaks

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor on Wednesday said it had blocked a website that was hosting the personal data of a number of companies’ clients. It did not name the companies.

Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB (VTBR.MM) was quoted by media as saying some customers’ phone numbers had been leaked but there was no risk to their funds.

E-commerce player 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) food delivery app, Yandex.Eda. read more

Yandex.Eda competitor Delivery Club on Friday apologised to users after it suffered a data leak on orders placed…