Russia will ‘unplug’ from the internet as part of a cyber-defense test

global internet usage one zettabyte computer server room information cloud web net

Authorities in Russia are planning on “unplugging” the country from the global internet as part of an experimental test of its cyber defenses. The disconnection will briefly keep all internet traffic inside the country, with no traffic routing through international ports and servers, according to a report from ZDNet.

Though no date for the test has yet been announced, it is reportedly due to happen before April 1. It is all mandated as part of the Digital Economy National Program, a draft of a law introduced in 2018 that’s supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Under the legislation, it is required for internet providers in Russia to ensure that the internet (known as the Runet) can function in the event that a foreign country attempts to bring it offline.

According to ZDNet, the process of taking the internet in Russia offline involves routing all internal internet web traffic to government-controlled points managed by Roskomnadzor, a Russian telecom watchdog. All Russian internet companies have since agreed to the law that originally mandates the testing, but several have also shown concern over potential disruptions in overall internet traffic.

Work on this project has been ongoing for a while now, and Russia wants to route most of its internet traffic locally by 2020. As part of that goal, Russia will have to use a Domain Name System (DNS) that was previously tested in 2014. This would allow Russians to connect to the local internet, and not visit any websites linked to foreign computers, once they are fully cut off from the rest of the global internet. This appears to be similar to the system in place in China, which blocks out certain websites in order to censor the internet.

Russia is known to launch cyber attacks against targets across the world, including the United States. Hackers based in the country often leverage phishing attacks that can hide malware in email and more. In fact, a recent strain of malware that specifically targeted U.S. email accounts collected screenshots and other information from the PCs of unsuspecting victims and sent it back to Russian operatives. If Russia were indeed able to fully go offline, it would be hard for countries to launch counter-cyber attacks, which is the goal of a set of principles introduced by a group of NATO countries.

Computing

These business machines can rival any consumer laptop in style and function

These laptops have the reliability, performance, and battery life you need whether you're at your desk or flying across the country for a meeting, letting you to revel in a function-first approach.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Computing

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.
Gaming

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Computing

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.
Computing

Lenovo’s Yoga C930 sale drops a $650 discount on its 2TB SSD laptop

Lenovo is offering one of its 2-in-1 laptops at a $650 discount. This Lenovo Yoga C930 laptop comes with a 2TB solid-state drive, a digital pen, a fingerprint reader, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.
Computing

You won't want to miss these deals on some of the best laptops around

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!