Cyber-Partisans Claim They Hacked Belarus Railway to Disrupt Russian Troops

Cyber-Partisans Claim They Hacked Belarus Railway to Disrupt Russian Troops

Hackers in Belarus allege they used ransomware to target the computer systems of the national railway operator in order to halt the passage of Russian military personnel. “At the instruction of the terrorist Lukashenka, the #Belarusian Railway permits the occupying forces to enter our territory,” the Belarusian Cyber-Partisans tweeted on Monday, January 24. To impair BR’s activities, we encrypted several of its servers, databases, and workstations.”

They further stated that they had encryption keys and are prepared to restore normalcy to the Belarusian Railroad’s systems on the condition that President Alexander Lukashenko free 50 political prisoners in need of medical attention and stops Russian soldiers from entering Belarusian land.

If the reports are true, the cyberattack could be the first of its sort. Typically, ransomware assaults motivated financial gain. Hackers will break into a computer network and demand payment in exchange for information that will leaked, disrupted, or deleted unless a ransom is paid. Non-state actors, on the other hand, appear to have utilized ransomware for solely political reasons in this case.

As if to verify the hack, Belarusian Cyber-Partisans posted a series of photos displaying internal documents and financial information from the Belarusian Railway. However, it is yet too early to confirm the events in detail, and it is unknown whether they had a big influence on the country’s infrastructure. 

The cyberattack meant to stop freight trains bringing Russian troops, according to a representative for the Belarusian Cyber-Partisans group, but it was too early to say whether it was successful, according to Reuters. Several services on the railway’s website, including ticket purchasing, were inaccessible for “technical difficulties,” according to Ars Technica.

Unless you have living in a nuclear bunker for the past month the worst option, you will aware that this comes on the heels of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine in recent weeks in an attempt to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, raising fears of an invasion. NATO has strengthened forces in Eastern Europe in response, and the US has placed thousands of soldiers on high alert, ready to deploy if conflict erupts.

Belarus, a former Soviet country that shares a major border with Ukraine, has a close, if occasionally tense, relationship with Russia. According to the Washington Post, a large contingent of Russian soldiers and military equipment has lately landed in Belarus. Russia maintains the troops are there for a joint military drill scheduled for next month, but the US and other NATO allies believe they are there to gain a foothold in Ukraine’s north. To put it bluntly, the situations is tense right now, but the Russia-Ukraine border and beyond appear to be in for a rocky few months.