Hackers have published a leak of personal details linked to 2,000 police officers in Belarus, as protestors enter their seventh-week of demonstrations against their President, Alexander Lukashenko.
The leak of personal information details of 2,000 police comes just days after protests of more than 100,000 people flooded the streets of Belarus’ capital, Minsk, in the sixth-week of demonstrations.
Reuters is reporting that “in tandem with the protests, anonymous hackers leaked the personal data of more than 2,000 police officers in retaliation for a crackdown in which thousands of people have been detained, many complaining of beatings and torture in jail.”
The majority of the government’s police force have been deployed on the streets of Minsk while wearing balaclavas and face protection to conceal their identity. Hackers have objected to this by publishing a trove of personal information of police officers.
“As the arrests continue, we will continue to publish data on a massive scale,” hackers have told Belarusian news channel Nexta. They continued to explain that “no one will remain anonymous – even under a balaclava.”
Hackers released their initial trove of data on 1,003 police officers on Saturday, which was followed up on Sunday evening with a data leak of another 1,000 members of the police.
It’s said that the second data leak contained the names and personal information of a number of police linked to the city of Brest in the West of Belarus, where opposition and protesters say the police have unleashed violent techniques to control protestors demonstrating against Alexander Lukashenko.
Hackers have released the names, birth dates, home towns, locations of work as well as the position and ranks of the police officers. In a separate data leak, hackers have released a host of personal information including home addresses and phone numbers of a small group of officials linked to Belarus’ anti-terrorism unit inside the Interior Ministry.
The hackers say that this small group is responsible for much of the heavy-handed approach to dealing with protestors in the country.
“If detentions continue, we will continue to publish data on a massive scale.”
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Olga Chemodanova has released a statement condemning the actions of the hackers while threatening future prosecution for those involved.
“The forces, means and technologies at the disposal of the internal affairs bodies make it possible to identify and prosecute the overwhelming majority of those guilty of leaking personal data on the Internet,” Chemodanova said.
Andrey Parshin, head of the Main Directorate of Internal Security for the Ministry of Internal Affairs has told Belta that since the controversial election, more than 250 police officers have had their personal information leaked online.
Parshin said that “over 250 employees and their families were subjected to destructive pressure,” signalling that the Lukashenko government is committed to prosecuting those found to have leaked information on police to the general public online.
Earlier this month, the official website for the government’s Ministry of Internal Affairs was hit by a severe data breach that saw hackers post photos of President Alexander Lukashenko, as well as Interior Minister Yuriy Karaev on the site’s missing persons list.
Hackers posted onto the government’s official site that the pair were wanted for war crimes and usurping state power following the country’s August general election.