In 2022, the number of Russian telecom operators using autonomous networks to intercept traffic fell by half. Operator error or targeted attacks by intruders can lead to such incidents, which causes unavailability Internet resources. Kommersant refers to Qrator Labs data regarding the interception and monitoring of traffic from Russian autonomous systems, consisting of IP networks or routers controlled either by one operator or more.
Sources claim that intercepts affected 2.5 million systems last year, almost half the number of systems in the same time period in 2021. In 2020, the problem was affecting 3.6 thousand systems and in 2019, it is affecting 4.7 thousand.
After the aggravation to the situation in Ukraine, several major incidents occurred regarding the interception by Ukrainian operators of Russian Internet provider traffic. Lurenet pulled traffic from the networks of Rostelecom, MegaFon and VimpelCom as well as MTS, MTS, Transtelecom and MTS. Services based on affected networks were temporarily unavailable to users around the globe due to this. The source claims that the incident affected 146 autonomous networks and made it one of the most significant.
Alexander Lyamin, founder of Qrator Labs stated that traffic intercepts occur when there are problems with the routing of traffic. These anomalies can either be due to network equipment errors or hackers planning attacks. In most cases, hijacked networks assume the incorrect routing information is correct and receive invalid routing information. Intruders can make users of these networks vulnerable. “For example, users could have their email content, access passwords and other sensitive data intercepted”– said Mr. Lyamin. Users may not have access to certain resources if the interception was due to an operational error.
Qrator Labs noticed a drop in cases of traffic interception. This can be attributed to the fact that large telecom companies and large corporations that have their own autonomous systems started to implement protection mechanisms, and configure networks correctly.