In April, the Russian Federal Export and Technical Control Service (FSTEC) granted Astra Linux a "special importance" level security certificate. This means that the operating system will be used to process information of the Russian government at the highest level of security.
So far, the Russian government only uses customized versions of Windows that have been tested and approved by the FSB, the country's top intelligence agency.
Russian-developed operating systems will be used in the country's government agencies.
Since April, the Russian military may have switched to Astra Linux, a derivative tool developed by RusBITech since 2008.
Initially, RusBITech developed an operating system to use for the Russian private market, but they also expanded into a group of local government and military contractors.
A few years ago, the operating system was certified to handle Russian government information, labeled "secret" and "top secret" – two "particularly important" data security levels. according to Russian law.
Since then, Astra Linux has gradually infiltrated government agencies. This operating system is currently used at the Russian Defense Control Center.
In January 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced plans to move military systems from Windows to Astra Linux on the grounds of fears of US intelligence tracking Russian government activities.
In addition to FSTEC certification, Astra Linux also receives appropriate certification from FSB and the Ministry of Defense. This opens up opportunities for Russia's leading military and intelligence agencies to accept Astra Linux.
Earlier this week, Chinese troops were also reportedly taking similar steps to replace the Windows operating system on military systems amid concerns about US hacks. The Chinese military did not use the Linux distribution but instead, it alluded to the plan to develop a custom operating system.