Security researchers have linked the infamous condition-sponsored Ghostwriter cyber-espionage and disinformation operation to Belarus for the to start with time.
An extensive report revealed yesterday noted threat intelligence and forensics firm Mandiant linked the UNC1151 group with “high confidence” to the Belarusian govt. It has been claimed in the past that UNC1151 offers “technical support” to Ghostwriter.
“This assessment, alongside with noticed Ghostwriter narratives regular with Belarusian government interests, results in us to evaluate with reasonable confidence that Belarus is also probable at minimum partially liable for the Ghostwriter campaign,” the report claimed.
“We are unable to rule out Russian contributions to either UNC1151 or Ghostwriter. Even so, at this time, we have not uncovered direct proof of such contributions.”
It was assumed previously that Ghostwriter was a Russian-sponsored entity. On the other hand, joint collaboration on the prolonged-operating campaign is feasible, specified the two countries’ shared objectives and near ties, Mandiant said.
The Ghostwriter team experienced concentrated its endeavours up until eventually 2020 on anti-NATO narratives intended to strain ties amongst Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. Mandiant said 22 out of the 24 disinformation strategies it noticed fell into this class — such as bogus allegations of the deployment of nuclear weapons, NATO troops spreading COVID-19, and crimes dedicated by NATO troops.
“The seeming intended outcome of these narratives – to erode regional help for NATO – can serve both equally Russian and Belarusian interests. We observe, even so, that the campaign has especially targeted audiences in nations around the world bordering Belarus, whilst Russia has extensive promoted anti-NATO narratives equally in the area and further more afield,” the report claimed.
“Specifically, observed Ghostwriter functions, in this time interval and by means of the present, have virtually absolutely excluded Estonia, which notably does not border Belarus but is a Baltic State, NATO member and a relevant part of any fears about NATO’s security posture on its japanese flank.”
Considering that August 2020, Ghostwriter has become extra obviously aligned to the aims of the Belarus federal government and its autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko.
These include spreading disinformation about scandals inside of the ruling parties in Lithuania and Poland and initiatives to discredit the Belarusian opposition.
Articles or blog posts revealed by Ghostwriter personas in August final 12 months tried to portray widespread popular protests at the routine as NATO or US-orchestrated in an try to de-legitimize them.
Mandiant also claimed that Ghostwriter narratives, particularly those people critical of neighboring governments, have been highlighted on Belarusian condition television as truth.
It referred to “sensitive technological info,” which locates the UNC1151 procedure in Minsk, the Belarusian funds, and inbound links it to the country’s military. These connections have reportedly been confirmed by “separate sources.”
In September, the EU criticized Russia for ongoing makes an attempt by Ghostwriter to steal info and distribute disinformation. The group had targeted German politicians in the operate-up to the country’s new elections.
Some components of this write-up are sourced from: