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Russia sets up cyber units in strategic missile forces

MOSCOW, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) have started to create special units to neutralize and counter cyber attacks, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

"The RVSN has been shifting its command lines to digital technologies. This is why the forces' high command undertakes preventive measures to improve information security," RIA Novosti news agency quoted ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov as saying.

The task of the digital units dubbed "Sopka," or Hill, is to counter hostile attacks on the Russian missile force's electronic hardware and informational channels, Yegorov said, adding the country plans to create a comprehensive system by 2017 to protect the armed forces' infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Earlier in October, President Vladimir Putin said Russia has been under increasing cyber attacks this year and protecting Russian information space against threats has been one of the priorities to ensure national security.

Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev said the country's segment of the Internet was attacked 57 million times in the first half of 2014, while some 90 million attacks have been registered since 2010.

Last summer, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to draft up to 500 computer-savvy students into special "scientific squadrons," whose work will be counted as military service.

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