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Hackers take down Russia's alternative to YouTube, Rutube


Hackers claim that the Russian video streaming service's source code was removed, and the uploaded videos are unrecoverable.

Anonymous-related hacker group PuckArks claims that hackers have breached Rutube, a popular Russian video streaming service. Hackers claim that Rutube code has been removed, video service is beyond repair, and access codes were either leaked or breached.

At the time of writing this article, Rutube's website displayed a message in Russian, saying the site had been attacked, yet Rutube's team managed to save user data.

Rutube released a statement on its official Telegram channel, claiming that information regarding the loss of source code is not true. However, the streaming service admitted it faced 'the most powerful cyber attack in Rutube's history.'

RUTUBE-hackers-cyberattack
Message displayed on Rutube's front page.

"The recovery will take longer than the engineers originally anticipated. However, the gloomy forecasts have nothing to do with the present state of affairs: the source code is available, the library is intact," the company's statement reads.

Rutube is owned by state-owned media conglomerate Gazprom-Media. The company also owns VKontakte, Russia's primary social network, as well as dozens of television channels and radio stations.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, the country's authorities started limiting access to Western streaming services, fueling Rutube's growth.

According to similarweb.com, Rutube's audience grew from 8.5 million in February to 63.6 million in April.

The attack on Rutube seems to be a part of a larger effort to thwart Russia's media reach during the 9 May celebrations, when the country commemorates the victory of the Soviet Union in the Second World War.

Before Russia's President Vladimir Putin gave a speech on 9 May, Anonymous hackers breached Russian TV schedules to show anti-war messages.

Journalists at the Russian news website Lenta.ru also published several articles criticizing Putin over the nation's involvement in the war on Ukraine. Russian authorities do not allow criticism of the conflict and using the term 'war' to describe the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine is punishable by law.

The hacker community started rallying to help Ukraine after Russian troops poured into Ukraine on 24 February. Anonymous, Ukraine's IT Army, Hacker Forces, and many other hacktivist groups target Russia's state-owned enterprises and businesses.

According to the United Nations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the 'fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.' Over 11 million people were displaced due to the conflict, with over 5.9 million fleeing the country.

Witness testimonies from Ukrainian towns Russian forces have occupied for close to a month point to severe human rights violations and targeted lethal attacks against civilians. Reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" got Russia suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.


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