Russia spends a lot on VPNs
Since the start of its invasion of Ukraine, Russian government agencies have spent a lot of money on virtual private network (VPN) services to circumvent Russian government-imposed internet censorship.
Top10VPN (opens in a new tab) recently took a closer look at the official Russian public procurement database, maintained by the Federal Treasury. Ironically it was inaccessible from the UK, the team used a VPN to access the data.
The site revealed that Russian government companies have signed 236 contracts for VPN technology since the invasion began on February 24, for a total of more than 807 million rubles, or about $9.8 million.
In addition, public institutions and enterprises governed by the Moscow-based public procurement law spent 196 million rubles, or $2.4 million – more than any other region. Krasnoyarsk, with $1.8 million in spending, was the second largest region.
Breaking the data down by sector, the researchers found that legislative agencies spent the most ($2.3 million), followed by IT and communications ($1.9 million) and health and social services. emergency ($1.5 million).
The war against Ukraine is currently being fought on two separate fronts – one physical and the other digital. In the cyber realm, in addition to the constant distributed denial of service, ransomware infections, leaks and other forms of attacks, there is a media/propaganda war.
In an effort to alienate its citizens from Western media and the Western view of things, the Russian government has blocked over 1,500 websites. Many citizens of the country have turned to VPN services to bypass blocks and access non-Russian websites, which has led to a 2,692% increase in demand for VPN apps from pre-Russian levels. war.
Russia has responded with an ongoing effort to block VPN traffic into the country. Whether this will go all the way or not remains to be seen, especially considering that government employees also use VPNs.