The Russian Ministry of Defense is launching a research laboratory that will explore how blockchain technology can be used to bolster national security by preventing hacks on military infrastructure.
Russia’s military technology accelerator, called “ERA,” is overseeing the construction of the lab, which will test if blockchain can be used to detect and prevent cyber attacks and enhance the military’s cyber-security measures, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia.
Alexei Malanov, an anti-virus expert at Moscow cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, believes the technology undergirding bitcoin can be used to trace the origins of malicious hack attacks.
Join CCN for $9.99 per month and get an ad-free version of CCN including discounts for future events and services. Support our journalists today. Click here to sign up.
“A hacker often clears the permission log to hide traces of unauthorized access to the device,” Malanov told Izvestia. But Malanov said if the log is distributed among several devices using blockchain, it’s harder for the hacker to cover his tracks.
Protecting State Secrets
German Klimenko, a former internet adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin, said the Ministry of Defense is a key driver of major IT developments and research efforts in the country.
“Blockchain technology is an effective modern tool,” said Klimenko, chairman of the Council of Digital Economic Development. “It is already widely used by civil organizations and can be useful to the military.”
The lab will ultimately fall under the oversight of the Russian Federation’s 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which is responsible for protecting state secrets.
The facility is being constructed in Anapa, a coastal Russian town near the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry wants the laboratory to become a technology hub that will initially employ about 200 scientists.
Central Bank: Blockchain Not ‘Mature’ Enough
As CCN previously reported, a senior official at Russia’s central bank said blockchain technology is currently not “mature” enough to be used on a mass scale.
“There is still no big industrial solution on distributed ledgers, except for bitcoins,” said Bank of Russia deputy governor Olga Skorobogatov. “The technology is not mature enough. It still requires a lot of improvements, both from a security viewpoint and in terms of scalability.”
Russia has quietly been making steady progress in the cryptocurrency space. In January 2018, Sberbank — Russia’s largest bank — announced plans to open its own crypto exchange in Switzerland, as they are not allowed in Russia.
Sberbank also recently opened a blockchain lab in Switzerland. Sberbank has more than 20 blockchain-based pilot projects under development.
Russian cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are bullish about the future of bitcoin, crypto mining, and distributed ledger technology, as CCN has reported.
“I think blockchain will repeat the history of the internet and probably even be bigger than the internet itself,” said physicist Alexander Ivanov, the founder of the Russian blockchain platform Waves.
Russian Ministry of Defense image from Shutterstock.