Russia Bans 1.8 Million Amazon and Google IPs in Attempt to Block Telegram

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Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecommunications watchdog, banned today over 1.8 million IP addresses belonging to Amazon and Google’s cloud infrastructure, the information security researchers said.

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The following IP blocks have been reported as banned in Russia at the ISP level. The IP ranges account for 1,835,008 IPs.

  • 58.0.0/15
  • 196.0.0/15
  • 194.0.0/15
  • 184.0.0/15
  • 156.0.0/14
  • 192.0.0/12

The number of blocked IPs has now reached over 16 million. New domains and IP ranges have been added today, April 17, to Russia’s national blocklist. Newly banned domains and IPs can be tracked via this GitHub repository.

After a Moscow court last week ordered the blocking of encrypted messaging app Telegram, in a case involving the proprietors’ refusal to give encryption keys to the authorities, Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor set about implementing the ban.

However, over the weekend Telegram moved its services onto Amazon and Google’s cloud infrastructure, in an attempt to continue serving its customers.

So now Roskomnadzor has ordered Russian ISPs to block 1.8 million IP addresses belonging to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

According to Meduza information security researchers, the Latvia-based independent Russian news site, Roskomnadzor on Monday added a series of IP blocks to its blacklist that effectively ban around 800,000 Amazon Web Services IP addresses and more than one million Google Cloud IP addresses.

“Roskomnadzor is taking and will take all necessary measures to comply with the court decision,” the Russian state censor told in a statement.

The regulator added that the court’s decision covered not just Roskomnadzor and its ISP blacklist, but also services that could be used to circumvent the ban, such as “VPNs and proxy services”.

After the court issued that ruling, Telegram founder Pavel Durov said on, that Telegram would use built-in mechanisms to bypass the ban. However, he also said that “100 percent availability of the service without VPN is not guaranteed”.

The information security professionals of the VPN provider NordVPN said in a Monday statement that it had seen a 150 percent increase in Russian user numbers after the ban was instated.

“We always see an increase of users from the countries where freedom of speech is restricted or surveillance is increased,” chief marketing officer Marty Kamden said.

The Telegram ban has reportedly had an impact on Russian government officials, among whom the service has been very popular. According to Bloomberg, Kremlin officials have been forced to switch to the rival ICQ service.