The hacker collective Anonymous has reportedly started targeting Belarus government websites after the country’s president has continued to show support for Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
@YourAnonNews, one of many Twitter accounts purporting to be associated with the loosely organized hacker group, tweeted a screenshot on Sunday claiming that several official Belarus websites, including the State Authority for Military Industry of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Communications and Informatization of the Republican of Belarus had been knocked offline.
The alleged hack comes the same day a referendum passed in Belarus that will get rid of the country’s non-nuclear status, potentially paving the way for Russia to launch nukes from Belarus. Although the decision was voted on, it is ultimately being credited to President Alexander Lukashenko, who has expressed support for Putin and Russia’s invasion efforts.
“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” he said.
Anonymous hackers have also announced cyber warfare on Russia and Putin in the wake of the invasion. Over the weekend, they hacked Russian state TV channels, which have been tightly controlled and filled with Russian propaganda, keeping the people of Russia in the dark.
Another account associated with Anonymous addressed Putin directly, warning that his regime’s failure to respect human rights will only cause the citizens of Russia to suffer.
“If you continue on this path, you will continue to lose support among Russian citizens, other countries around the world will refuse to cooperate with you, and you will face unprecedented cyberattacks from all corners of the world,” they said. “Members of Anonymous have declared cyber war against your aggressive regime, with numerous government websites being taken offline in the past several days.
“A few downed websites is only the beginning though. Soon you will feel the full wrath of the world’s hackers, many of whom will likely reside from your home country. Your secrets may no longer be safe, and there is a chance that key components of your government’s infrastructure could be hijacked.”
“The people of the world will resist you every step of the way,” the video concluded. “This is not a war that you can win regardless of how powerful you think you are. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. Expect us.”