Hackers expose Belarusian government corruption; regime agreed with oligarch for the exploitation of the tobacco industry

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Belarus declared that various pro-democracy civil associations will be prosecuted as terrorist groups in response to a recent scandal involving Aliaksei Aleksin, a well-known oligarch.

This group reportedly revealed that the individual donated luxury cars to members of the current Belarusian regime the same year that the businessman gained full control of the local tobacco industry.

The court’s decision came just a day after the story was published by OCCRP, which drafted the article based on information provided by alleged members of the hacking group Cyber Partisans. According to information shared by the hackers, Aleksin donated the cars to the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko as the payment of the aforementioned big favor.

Lukashenko’s security service reportedly received nine vehicles, including two Maybach 62S, a classic Chevrolet Impala and a custom-made Vintage BCC by a prestigious workshop. OCCRP consulted a well-known car dealership, who mentioned that the value of the vehicles delivered by the entrepreneur could exceed $2 million USD.

The Belarusian government identified Cyber Partisans hackers and two pro-democracy associations as the same group, recognizing them as a terrorist entity potentially involved with foreign threat actors and with plans to carry out criminal acts in the future.

For civil liberties advocates this is an extremist measure, not only because the groups mentioned by the regime have not engaged in criminal acts, but because the Belarusian authorities could impose sentences of up to 15 years in prison against those involved.

This is not the only incident related to Cyber Partisans; on their latest attack, threat actors claim to have compromised a database with information on all entries and exits to the country in the last two weeks. This database includes information on Belarusian citizens and foreigners who have crossed borders by plane, road, and train or on foot, as retaliation for Lukashenko’s regime migratory policies.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.