Russia disconnected from the internet in tests as controversial Russian spy ship Yantar known for spying on undersea internet cables leaves its base
Back in July 2021, the Russian government announced it has successfully tested a country-wide alternative to the global internet, according to a report from Reuters.
The tests involving all Russia’s major telecommunication companies were held from June 15 to July 15 and were successful, Reuters reported, citing a source in the working group as saying. Prof Alan Woodward, a computer scientist at the University of Surrey said, “Sadly, the Russian direction of travel is just another step in the increasing breaking-up of the internet.”
Now, as Russia faces a series of sanctions from western nations, Ukraine has called on ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the nonprofit group that oversees the Internet domain names and Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), to cut Russia off from the core parts of the Internet. But ICANN rejected the call. ICANN CEO Göran Marby said the group must “maintain neutrality and act in support of the global Internet.”
However, there was an unconfirmed report this evening that Russia will disconnect from external Internet starting March 11. All companies in Russia are required to get on a .RU top-level domain extension address and Russia domestic server. Businesses have also been given five days to comply. The announcement comes on the same day as another report from the Open Source Intelligence.
BREAKING: RUSSIA WILL DISCONNECT FROM EXTERNAL INTERNET STARTING MARCH 11. ALL COMPANIES IN RUSSIA ARE REQUIRED TO GET ON A ".RU" ADDRESS AND RUSSIAN DOMESTIC SERVER. BUSINESS HAVE 5 DAYS TO COMPLY. Cyber attacks on US inbound…
— Black Swan (@RetirementRight) March 7, 2022
According to Covert Shores, citing Open Source Intelligence, the controversial Russian spy ship Yantar was spotted leaving its base today. Yantar is a special mission ship reputed to be involved in spying on undersea internet cables, The controversial ship has departed Olenya Guba near the Kola Peninsular in Russia’s arctic north, Covert Shores reported.
According to Covert Shores, the analysis of Sentinel-2 satellite imagery on March 6 shows her usual pier empty. A ship matching her is also seen in the imagery out at sea.
According to Russian sources, Yantar is described as a ‘Special Purpose Ship’ or ‘Oceanographic vessel’. In the West, however, the ship is regarded as a spy ship. “Her forte is surveying undersea cables and possibly tapping, delousing, or sabotaging them,” Covert Shores wrote.
According to another report from Naval News, Russia’s secretive special survey ship Yantar raises eyebrows after it was caught loitering near the vicinity of Trans-Atlantic underwater Internet Cables in Ireland in 2021. The ship was previously seen conducting operations off Syria, in the Persian Gulf, and of the Americas. And elsewhere.
Yantar is described as a ‘Special Purpose Ship’ and an ‘Oceanographic vessel’. The ship is operated by Russia’s secretive Main Directorate of Underwater Research (GUGI), who also operate Russia’s ‘special mission’ (read ‘spy’) submarines.
Every computer that is connected to the Internet is part of this global network, even the computer in your home. These undersea cables are the invisible force driving the modern internet, with funding coming from internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.
Today’s undersea cables were based on technology originally developed in 1858 when Cyrus West Field laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable. It operated for only three weeks but subsequent attempts in 1865 and 1866 were more successful. Today, there are about 380 underwater cables in operation around the world, spanning a length of over 745,645 miles (1.2 million kilometers).