Report implicates Belarus in cyber campaign against Eastern European NATO members

BOSTON, Massachusetts — Cybersecurity researchers say they have uncovered evidence that Belarus has been involved in a hybrid hacking and disinformation campaign against Eastern European NATO members since 2016 that aimed to sow discord in the military alliance, steal confidential information, and spy on dissidents.

Today’s report by the prominent US cybersecurity firm Mandiant appears to mark the first time Belarus has been blamed in the campaign known as Ghostwriter. European Union members have said they suspected involvement by Belarus’ close ally Russia, and Poland has directly accused Moscow of hacking government officials’ emails and leaking them online.

While Mandiant says it has compelling forensic evidence that Belarus was involved in the hacking — whose targets have also included German lawmakers — it says it has no direct proof of Russian participation, though that does not rule it out and attributing cyberoperations can be difficult.

The Belarus government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A press officer at the Russian embassy in Washington had no immediate comment on alleged Russian involvement in Ghostwriter. Russian officials regularly reject accusations that they are involved in hacking and disinformation activity.

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