Belarusian Cyber Partisans: “Without a free Ukraine, there is no chance for an independent Belarus”

Hours after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, an unexpected announcement was released online: A special hacker unit called “Tactical group of Belarus” had formed and was joining the fight against Russia.

Making the announcement was a hacktivist collective called Belarusian Cyber Partisans (BCP) who emerged during Belarus’ violent protests in response to President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s fraudulent election. The group was already well established and previously worked with the investigative team Bellingcat and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, identifying special forces and police informants working with Lukashenko’s regime as well as corrupt government officials.

On Twitter, they called for volunteers to join them in the resistance and announced a partnership with Ukrainian hackers. “Ukrainians and Belarusians have a common enemy – Putin, Kremlin, the imperial regime,” the spokesperson for the group Yuliana Shemetovets tweeted on February 24.

Although no one in the group expected Russia to launch a full-scale invasion, they had thought of possible responses in case the worst happened. From the first reports of a potential Russian attack, BCP prepared themselves alongside their hacktivist contemporaries in the Suprativ movement: Flying Storks, and People’s Self-Defence Brigade, which formed in May 2021.

BCP initially made headlines on January 24 after launching operation “Peklo”, Russian for ‘scorching heat’. They hacked the Belarusian state railway lines, obstructing the movement of Russian troops and artillery stationed in Belarus in the leadup to the Ukraine invasion. Infecting the servers, databases and workstations of Belarusian Railway with ransomware, the group demanded two things: “The release of 50 political prisoners most in need of medical care. Preventing the presence of Russian troops on the territory of Belarus.”

Speaking in an interview with bne IntelliNews, the Belarusian Cyber Partisans, via Yuliana Shemetovets, explained the reason for the January 24 attack. Although neither demand was met, the group still saw success in their action.

Belarusian Cyber Partisans: “Without a free Ukraine, there is no chance for an independent Belarus”Read More
Topics: Analysis & opinion, Cyberwar, International, Internet
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