11 April 2014, 19:42

Russia's electronic independence will boost its cybersecurity - expert

Russia's electronic independence will boost its cybersecurity - expert

Russia can manage without imported electronic "brains" both on earth and in space. Sanctions imposed by the West encourage Russian science and industry tosolve complex tasks  independently. 

The Roselektronika holding is creating a supercomputer for the military-industrial complex based on its own component base. This will bring Russia to a new level of cybernetic independence and promote domestic technologies, the Voice of Russia experts believe.

Is the task realistic for Russian developers ? Can Russia abandon imported component base today? Currently, Russian specialists are able to develop software and components of any complexity. But there are no production capacities. Modern manufacturing lines and equipment are needed, President of the Inforus consortium, Andrey Masalovich notes.

"The component base consists of three parts. We should invent and produce it by ourselves and also manufacture the equipment to produce it on. We have enough brain now, as well as processor architecture and programmable logic. So, in three-five years, Russian specialists can produce schemes on a level high enough to use them in multiprocessor computers. We are about five years behind in this department. Secondly, we need machines for production. China or any other country that does not like the US will be happy to sell them to us. And then these machines can be used in Russia for domestic production of hardware components with the use of imported equipment."

The current situation presents Russia with a good chance to get off the oil dependency and invest in high technology, Andrey Masalovich believes. It's only necessary to properly build a strategy of import substitution. Today, we possess the most essential thing - programmers able to solve any tasks. It's only the base that is needed, but it can be created, too.

"Although Russian programmers are not at the top of the list, they are still among the world's top ten or even five programmers, and in different fields, ranging from lone hackers to creators of major projects or high-tech systems. Whether the hardware components announced in the upcoming sample of the new supercomputerare complies with them is still up for discussion. The tasks we really face, tha is, creation of supersonic missiles; simulation of a nuclear explosion; deciphering difficult algorithms, can be effectively solved even with the use of the supercomputer, which is installed, say, in the Moscow State University."

According to the expert, Russia can take another, simpler path. That is, not trying to do away with imported components, but to create new technological alliances.

"I would not interpret current events as creation of a solid iron fence around Russia. I believe it's a unique opportunity to build a new USSR around Russia, to set new blocks instead of the old ones."

However, the idea of full electronic independence has an important component. This will raise the level of cyber security to a new, unattainable level.

"Certainly, a fully controlled production beginning from the creation and testing of schemes to their implementation and creation of electronic components and computers on their basis - this way is more secure than any other. But it still cannot provide a 100 percent security, because there is software vulnerability, which cannot be avoided. As far as hardware is concerned, it will provide total security. But this is not the only way. If we use Western equipment, but keep the schemes and the production process under control, the security level will not be lower, although it is much faster and easier technologically."

The biggest problem today is not the refusal to use Western chips, but impossibility to abandon the use of Western equipment for manufacturing chips. And yet, it is possible to completely abandon the component dependency, editor-in-chief of the Science and Technology portal, Konstantin Kiselev believes. After all, the Roselektronika state holding is an aggregate of over a hundred enterprises involved in the creation of microelectronic devices. This is great technical power able to cope with any task, the expert is sure.

"The solution of the problem is vital for the Russian Federation, especially for its defense industry, because simulation of major engineering problems, nuclear tests, and various complex temporal changes should be implemented with the use of domestic facilities. There are about a dozen of supercomputers in Russia, the most famous and included in the world rankings being the Lomonosov supercomputer, located at the MSU. Roselektronika is going to produce a more powerful computer, and they are going to develop the architecture of this supercomputer here, in the Russian Federation, and either place orders for component parts at their own enterprises, or partially at enterprises in the South-East Asia."

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