"Ahead of the presidential elections in Russia, we should expect an increase in the use of political, economic and informational activities. It is predicted that cyberoperations will be conducted, that hardware and software components will be embedded into the equipment of critical infrastructure, including such that are aimed at disrupting the operation of the state automated voting system," said Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev at a meeting on cybersecurity.
Patrushev emphasized that it is important to ensure strict compliance with the requirements for connecting information resources and critical infrastructure to computer networks and the Internet.
"I also ask you to pay special attention to issues related to ensuring the constitutional guarantees of citizens' electoral rights and public safety during the election campaign," said the secretary of the Security Council.
Patrushev also mentioned the intensification in the activity of foreign intelligence services, which are developing complex scenarios for cyber attacks against Russia.
"There is a significant expansion in the range of computer intelligence objectives of foreign states' special services. Complex scenarios for the use of software and technical tools are being developed and employed, aimed at obtaining information circulating in telecommunication networks and information systems of the critical information infrastructure of the Russian Federation," he noted.
Russia has strengthened its state system for tackling cyber attacks, after information systems and software of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the companies Rosneft and Evraz were exposed to attacks last year. More than 500 thousand computers were knocked out of service, according to Patrushev.
"In 2017 there were three incidents of mass utilization of software used to encrypt user data. As a result, more than half a million computers were disabled, including the sites of the information structure of the Russian Federation," Nikolay Patrushev stated.
The Security Council secretary stressed that Russia's positions in the sphere of forming an international information security system have become stronger. At the same time, he criticized the situation in the Southern Federal District, the information resources of which have a "high degree of intelligence accessibility."