In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the country is being isolated on several fronts – including finance and sports. The country is also being isolated online. Various technology firms such as Facebook, Google, Netflix, and others have been putting restrictions on Russian content (and getting blocked by Russia in retaliation).
Now the isolation has reached another level as a couple of the largest internet backbone providers are moving to block Russian customers from their networks. Both Lumen Technologies and Cogent Communications have taken this action over concerns that Vlad the Invader’s government or its supporters will engage in cyberattacks against other countries or organizations.
This is an unprecedented move as these providers have traditionally been loath to engage in cutting off access to the internet. However, given the circumstances I don’t know that they had much choice. We’ve seen the damage that cyberattacks can do to infrastructure and how they can cripple organizations and governments. Russian hackers have been carrying out cyberattacks against others for years now, and I could see Russia using cyberattacks to try to harm us and our allies. Some security professionals believe that Russia is keeping the big cyberattacks in reserve, waiting for the right moment to strike.
As I said before, Vlad is insane. He’s willing to not only take himself down, but the rest of the world as well. So it’s up to the rest of the world to do everything it can to prevent Vlad from hurting others, including unprecedented things like isolating them from the internet at the backbone level.