Haktivists claim ransomware attack on Belarusian railways to disrupt Russian forces

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Image for an article titled Hacktivists claim ransomware attack on Belarusian railways intends to disrupt Russian forces

Photography: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

In an obvious attempt to stop a Accumulation of Russian weapons near the Ukrainian border, a “pro-democracy” hacktivist group claims to have hacked the Belarusian railway system — allegedly one of lines for tanks and weapons in the region. The incident comes as Russian and allied forces continue to fight over Ukraine’s political future, increasing the risk of war.

Belarus, located in northern Ukraine, is considered a key ally of the Kremlin in the ongoing conflict and saw accumulation of Russian soldiers and weapons as the two nations prepare for the coming joint military exercises. U.S. commentators have accused Russia of using Belarus and the exercises as an excuse “Surround” Ukraine war.

In a post for your Telegram page on Monday, a hacktivist group known as the Cyber ​​Partizani claimed to have struck the nation’s rail system – apparently backfilling it with ransomware as a way to deter further arms transfers. The hackers also released pictures of what they said were files compromised in the attack, and demanded the release of a number of “political prisoners” they said the government had illegally imprisoned.

“The government continues to suppress the free will of Belarus, imprisons innocent people, continues to illegally hold … thousands of political prisoners,” hackers he told Ars Technica. They also condemned the government for allowing “occupying troops” into their country – allegedly sending them to Russia.

The partisans, who call themselves “pro-democratic”, are letters for it consists of disgruntled Belarusian security personnel and has previously been linked to the alleged hack-and-leak operations aimed at the government of President Alexander Lukashenko, the country’s current leader.

One of the first to be place the obvious railway hacker was Franak Viachorka, a journalist and political adviser to Belarus’s opposition leader and a “pro-democracy activist” Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

Viacorca, who also has worked with The Atlantic Council and is a media analyst with the US Global Media Agency, told Gizmodo that he learned about the cyber attack directly from the “railroaders”. Viacorka called the “scale of the attack” “huge” and said he expected an “official statement” on the incident soon because “some rail services are not working”.

Although there seems to be no official recognition of the attack by the Belarusian government, the railway notice announced to passengers on Monday that certain “technical” difficulties are causing problems in the delivery of electronic services:

“For technical reasons, the reference web resources of the Belarusian Railways and the services for issuing electronic travel documents are temporarily unavailable,” the railway said. announced. “To arrange travel and return electronic travel documents, contact the ticket office.”

While this in itself does not confirm the claims of hacktivists, it certainly sounds like one of the classic side effects of ransomware attacks.

The constant stagnation in Ukraine, there has been a point between Russian and pro-NATO forces where, some say, political squabbles risk escalating into armed conflict. A gathering of 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine has increased tensions and led US officials to accuse Putin of wanting to invade a neighboring country.

More importantly, multiple cyber attacks have been aimed at Ukraine in the last two weeks – a fact that has contributed to the growing conflict. This includes January 14th defect attack on nearly 80 Ukrainian government websites, blamed on hackers linked to Belarusian intelligence. That time of the train incident – a little over a week later – makes it a bit interesting.

On their Telegram page on Monday, Cyber ​​Partizans wrote that they had hacked the railway system to defy Belarusian President Lukashenko, whom they called a “terrorist”:

BelZhD, under the command of terrorist Lukashenko, is allowing occupying forces to enter our country these days. As part of the “Hell” cyber campaign, we encrypted most of BelZhD’s servers, databases and workstations to slow down and disrupt road operations. Backups have been destroyed.

The hackers claimed that “automation and security systems were intentionally NOT affected by cyber attacks to avoid emergencies.”



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