Access to RuTube reportedly restored by Russian cyber experts after 3-day outage
Access to Russian video-hosting site RuTube was restored on Wednesday after a three-day outage, following a cyberattack that required the attention of expert cybersecurity teams and called into question the sustainability of the service .
Moscow has long sought to improve its national internet infrastructure, even disconnecting itself from the global internet during tests last summer, but the need to bolster its technological solutions has become more pressing since the West began imposing sanctions unprecedented against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
RuTube’s usual homepage, filled with video content, reappeared on Wednesday evening, having been inaccessible since Monday morning, the day Russia celebrated the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. .
During the outage, a short message on the site read: “Attention! The site is under technical works. The site has been attacked. For the moment, the situation is under control. User data has been recorded.”
RuTube said on Wednesday it had brought in several different experts to investigate the attack and repair the damage, including a team from the Expert Security Center at Russian cybersecurity firm Positive Technologies, which it said was working on problems for two days.
The Vedomosti newspaper quoted a director of Positive Technologies, Alexei Novikov, as saying that RuTube had come under a targeted attack aimed at disabling the service and that it could take up to three weeks to investigate and respond to the incident given the scale of the attack. .
“We need to master the basic toolkit that hackers use,” Denis Goidenko, head of Positive Technologies’ information security threat response department, said in a video message on Telegram earlier Wednesday.
“There is a lot of work to be done as RuTube’s infrastructure is quite large and complex.”
RuTube said 99.5% of the video library was available to users, but search and commentary functions still needed to be restored.
The episode shows how dependent Russia remains on YouTube, which has around 90 million monthly users in the country, and offers clues as to why Moscow has yet to block the US service, a fate that hit other foreign social media platforms.
Anton Gorelkin, Deputy Head of the State Duma Parliamentary Committee on Information Policy, stressed the importance for RuTube to be able to withstand future hacking efforts.
“I believe the company will draw conclusions from this story and seriously reconsider the approach to protecting its infrastructure,” Gorelkin wrote on Telegram. “We need our own national video hosting site.”
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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