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March 1, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 1:22pm

Belarus hackers attack train systems to disrupt Russian troops

The aim of the attack was to buy more time for Ukrainians to resist Russia’s assault.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict


Activist hackers in Belarus have reportedly disrupted some of the country’s rail services after breaching computers that control these trains.

This move by Cyber Partisans, as the activist hackers identify themselves, is said to have been made in an attempt to ‘slow down the transfer’ of Russian soldiers that are entering Ukraine.

The purpose of the attack was also to buy additional time for Ukrainians to resist Russia’s assault, reported Bloomberg.

Under the plan, hackers put the train system into ‘manual control’ mode, which will ‘significantly slow down the movement of trains, but not create emergency situations.’

As a result, train movements faced disruption in the cities of Minsk, Orsha, and in the town of Osipovichi.

The railway system’s routing and switching devices were inoperable after the hackers compromised the systems by encrypting the stored data.

Additionally, numerous websites linked to Belarus’s rail network also showed error messages, making it impossible to purchase tickets.

However, Bloomberg News couldn’t authenticate the hacking group’s claims independently.

Belarus Railway company’s former employee Sergei Voitehowich informed that the traffic control systems were restored after the breach. However, other systems were not functioning while the external train network websites were down, Sergei.

Neither government representatives in Belarus, nor a representative for the Russian Embassy in Washington commented on the matter.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted activist groups to focus on disrupting Russian military movements.

The move comes in the wake of Russia using Belarus as a staging point to move into Ukraine’s northern regions.

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