May 11 (Reuters) - Russian video-hosting site RuTube remained unavailable for a third day on Wednesday, crippled by a cyberattack that has thus far confounded teams of cybersecurity experts and called the service's durability into question.
Moscow has long sought to improve its domestic internet infrastructure, even disconnecting itself from the global internet during tests last summer, but the need to strengthen its technology solutions has become more pressing since the West started imposing unprecedented sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
Usually packed with video content, RuTube's site is currently black, with a short message reading: "Attention! The site is undergoing technical work. The site was attacked. At the moment the situation is under control. User data has been saved."
RuTube said on Wednesday it had brought in several different experts to investigate the attack and repair the damage, including a team from Russian cybersecurity firm Positive Technologies' Expert Security Centre, which it said had been working on the issues for two days.
RuTube CEO Alexander Moiseev said the first stage of restoring functionality was complete and that the company intended to resume video-hosting later on Wednesday.
Vedomosti newspaper cited a Positive Technologies director, Alexei Novikov, as saying that RuTube had been subjected to a targeted attack aimed at disabling the service and that it may take as many as three weeks to investigate and respond to the incident given the scale of the attack.
"We've got to grips with the basic toolkit the hackers are using," Denis Goidenko, head of Positive Technologies' information security threat response department, said in a video message on Telegram.
"There's a lot of work to do because RuTube's infrastructure is quite large and complex."
The episode highlights how reliant Russia remains on Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) YouTube, which has around 90 million monthly users in the country, and offers clues as to why Moscow has not yet blocked the U.S. service, a fate that has befallen other foreign social media platforms. read more
Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the State Duma parliamentary committee on information policy, said he expected RuTube's operations to resume on Wednesday, but stressed the importance of RuTube being able to withstand future hacking efforts.
"I think 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 strong national video-hosting site."
Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alison Williams