SOPKA: Why do Russian missile forces need white hackers?

    It seems that the "computer geniuses" of military age will henceforth be on a special account with the military enlistment offices. On October 1, the President of Russia held a meeting of the Security Council at which possible measures to protect the information space of Russia were discussed.

    Two weeks later, the press service of the Ministry of Defense announced that SOPKA units would soon be formed in the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, or Strategic Missile Forces, which stands for "Computer Attack Detection and Prevention Systems."

    Special forces troops will receive the latest systems for detecting computer attacks, information and technical effects on the automated combat control system.
    It is reported that new units are being created in military units, both with mobile missile systems and silo launchers.

    Why strategic missile forces have their own anti-hacker units is explained extensively, since it is known that the automated strategic missile control system of the Strategic Missile Forces (the one with a nuclear briefcase and a red button) is completely isolated and has no Internet connection. That is, according to the former chief of staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, retired Colonel General Viktor Yesin, whom Kommersant turned to for expert evaluation, the possibility that hackers might influence her is completely excluded. Currently undergoing modernization, says Yesin. The channels are duplicated through space and are reliably protected by special protocols and encryption methods, so hackers can’t get them in any way, says the Colonel General.

    However, no one has canceled the human factor, says military expert, chief editor of the National Defense magazine Igor Korotchenko - although the Strategic Missile Forces system is not connected to the Internet, there are computers with access to the World Wide Web in parts. Therefore, the possibility that a virus can be brought in by a specific person - an officer, shift duty officer, for example, is not ruled out, says Korotchenko, recalling the case of the former Strategic Missile Forces major Dudnik, who was trying to convey to the CIA secret information about Siberian missile units. And just this poses the main threat to the Strategic Missile Forces control and communications system. Detection and elimination of such threats is the main task of SOPKA units, says Korotchenko.

    The second important task is to strengthen the security of workflow and information transfer. For this, common computers are often used, but on which certain protection systems and blocking schemes are installed. We are talking about counteracting the technical means of reconnaissance of the enemy by eliminating the blocking of the radio channel, and about finding and neutralizing software and hardware bookmarks.

    The official version from the representative of the press service and information department of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Colonel Igor Egorov, reads as follows: “The armed forces are switching to digital technologies for controlling weapons and troops, and the active introduction of electronic document management. In this regard, the Strategic Missile Forces are taking preventive measures to improve information security - SOPKA units are being created to ensure stable combat command and control of troops in the conditions of information and technical impact. ”The Strategic Missile Forces are to be fully converted to digital technologies by 2020.

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