A group of hackers named Belarus Cyber Partisans claimed responsibility for a number of cyberattacks on government and police databases in Belarus, including those of the Interior Ministry. This is reported by DW.
It recently said that it now had access to the passport details of all Belarusians, as well as internal security plans, and also knew whose telephone numbers had been tapped. The list reportedly includes security officials, state-run companies and private firms. The Cyber Partisans say that they have hundreds of thousands of hours' worth of recordings.
On August 17, Belarus ruler Alexander Lukashenko indirectly confirmed the loss of sensitive data. "If you can't protect the information in your computers, then write things by hand and put them in drawers," he told ministers at a meeting.
The Cyber Partisans say they will process the information and release it gradually. To do this, they set up a Telegram channel that already has 77,000 subscribers. The encrypted messaging app is often used by supporters of the opposition in Belarus because it makes it easier to bypass the censors. It was one of the biggest sources of information during anti-government protests in 2020.
Apparently, one hope was that high-ranking officials would be dismissed after the cyberattack on the interior ministry but this did not happen.
With their cyberattacks, the collective is trying to target "the most sensitive points" of the regime and to throw the system into disarray, said the Cyber Partisans member. "While the regime is trying to put out this fire, we are already preparing the next attacks on the pillars of the state," he said, adding that this was a time-consuming, complicated process. It was hardest to access information about Lukashenko himself and his inner circle, such as high-ranking intelligence officers, the hacker added. However, the group has said it does now have access to 16,000 secret files, including several pertaining to Lukashenko and his family.
According to the Cyber Partisans, the Belarusian Interior Ministry set up a database entitled Street Riots, in which almost 39,000 people were registered last year alone, mostly because they had participated in protests after the disputed presidential elections. The database apparently has information on these protesters' passport information, as well as details pertaining to arrests and the subsequent outcome. DW has seen screenshots confirming this.
The Cyber Partisans also claim that they have obtained access to surveillance cameras in prisons and detention centers. They say that they cannot yet reveal any details but have said that they will do so as soon as they have "information that is relevant to the people."