Posted on

The Russian Military Is Building a Blockchain Research Lab

The Russian Ministry of Defense is launching a research lab to analyze how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate cybersecurity attacks, a local newspaper reported Friday.

The nation’s military technology accelerator, referred to as the ERA, is launching a special scientific lab to determine whether blockchain technology can be used to identify cyber attacks and protect critical infrastructure, according to Russian daily Izvestia.

The newspaper reported that research has already begun to explore possible applications for blockchain technology, though the lab itself is still being developed.

One of the priorities at ERA is the development of an intelligent system to detect and prevent cyber attacks on critical information. To that end, the organization has formed a team of information security specialists.

Alexei Malanov, an antivirus expert at Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity firm based in Moscow, told the newspaper that blockchain-based platforms can make it more difficult to hide traces of cyber attacks.

He explained that online intruders often clean up access logs on devices to hide traces of unauthorized access to the device. But, by using a distributed ledger, the risk of this happening is minimized.

German Klimenko, a former technology advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin similarly said that work on blockchain studies has been “useful” for the cybersecurity industry in the nation.

The lab, which is being built in the Russian coastal town of Anapa, will ultimately fall under the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’s Eighth Directorate, which likewise focuses on information security.

Russian flag image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Trump Signs Defense Bill Authorizing Blockchain Study

President Donald Trump has signed a $700 billion military spending bill that includes a mandate for a blockchain cybersecurity research study.

As CoinDesk reported in September, the bill – as advanced by the U.S. Senate at the time – called for the Department of Defense to investigate “potential offensive and defensive cyber applications of blockchain technology and other distributed database technologies.”

The language itself is part of the wider Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT), which focuses on improving the government’s IT and cybersecurity systems.

The blockchain study, according to the latest version of the text (which was ultimately signed earlier today by Trump), will constitute “an assessment of efforts by foreign powers, extremist organizations, and criminal networks to utilize such technologies;…[and] an assessment of the use or planned use of such technologies by the Federal Government and critical infrastructure networks.”

The results of the study, according to the text, are due to be delivered to Congress sometime in the next 6 months. While it is set to be prepared by the Department of Defense – which has explored a number of applications in the past – the final product is likely to include input from other federal agencies and departments.

And though it constitutes a minor element in major funding law, the measure, proposed by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, could help spur investigation into possible blockchain uses within the U.S. government, some observers say.

“Blockchain was clearly one of the technological capabilities that Congress meant for agencies to look at, and what they were trying to do was create dollars with some flexibility to them so that agencies would have their own discretion on what they invest in,” Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of public sector at the Information Technology Industry Council in Washington, D.C., told CoinDesk last month.

Image Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.