Two Belarusian officials, and then the Investigative Committee have become victims of hackers. Unknown criminals are trying to create the impression that the Belarusian authorities apologize for their actions against the interests of Russia. Cui prodest – who might be behind the campaign?
The information attack against Belarus is gaining momentum. First, a fake letter from Natallya Kachanova, Head of the presidential administration, then the hacked Twitter account of her subordinate Maksim Ryzhankou, and finally yesterday’s attack on the official Facebook profile of the Investigative Committee. It is not difficult to chain the incidents – each has an apology to the Russian side for ‘inappropriate behavior in the information space’.
According to military expert Alyaksandr Alesin, Russia may be behind the cyber attacks.
“A cyber war is being waged against Belarus in the information field. Vladimir Putin has recently made a very interesting statement, i.e. ‘if these actions are carried on by individual Russian citizens, then we bear no responsibility for them,” Alesin said.
Immediately after the fake publication on behalf of Deputy head of the Presidential Administration Maksim Ryzhankou, lots of suspicious users stated to leave abusive comments about Belarus.
“We are dealing with Russian security services’ hybrid action against Belarus since they have used all the arsenal, all the tools applied against Ukraine over 4 years,” Dzyanis Ivashyn, a representative of the OSINT project InformNapalm, believes.
In all three cases, the hackers referred to the work of the interdepartmental committee on security in the information sphere, which was established less than a year ago to have a greater control over the information space in Belarus. After all, according to recent surveys, Russian media still remain the most popular and influential in Belarus.
“The Belarusian authorities’ understanding of security is quite specific. It is rather about internal security, protecting themselves from some information flows,” Veranika Laputska, an analyst at the Warsaw-based East Center, noted.
This new wave of cyber attacks on Belarusian officials and state institutions has its back story. In the past, unknown persons hacked Twitter accounts of Minsk, Mahiliou and Homiel Directorates of Interior. The information posted by hackers also touched on the Russian-Belarusian relations.