NewsBelarus 'Cyberpartisans' hack regime's news agency, pushing for free speech ahead of Lukashenko's address

Belarus 'Cyberpartisans' hack regime's news agency, pushing for free speech ahead of Lukashenko's address

Hackers disrupted Alaksandra Łukaszenka's New Year's address.
Hackers disrupted Alaksandra Łukaszenka's New Year's address.
Images source: © president.gov.by

7:41 AM EST, January 2, 2024

The afternoon of New Year's Eve proved to be eventful for the employees of the regime news agency BiełTa. In the afternoon, "Cyberpartisans," a group of Belarusian hackers, revealed they had successfully infiltrated the agency's internal network.

Anti-regime entries began to surface just a few hours before Alexander Lukashenko's New Year's address. The hackers publicized content promoting the usage of independent Belarusian media. They successfully expropriated 93GB of data, including accounting documents and employees' personal information, as reported on their Telegram profile.

"When there's no voice to tell the truth to Belarusians, we take on the responsibility. We send the New Year's greetings from our volunteers through BiełTa's official website," wrote the "Cyberpartisans".

The agency's website ceased to function thoroughly. A few hours after the attack, BiełTa's employees assured that they had successfully reclaimed control over the service, which is currently inaccessible.

Lukashenko's New Year's Address

The hacking incident occurred a few hours before Lukashenko's New Year's address, which all regime-controlled media channels aired just before midnight.

In his address, the Belarusian leader reflected on the passing year, labeling it "a year of peace and prosperity," and dubbed the upcoming year as "quality". He stated, "Last year they attempted to break us down, to stifle us economically. But we not only sustained, we evolved progressively towards our aim."

While Lukashenko reassured citizens about the improving economic conditions, a video from his staunch opposition contender Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was released on the internet. However, due to authorities blocking access to YouTube, Belarusians could not view it. Cyber activists allege that internet access was entirely severed in certain parts of the country.

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