Morgan Wright, Senior Security Advisor at SentinelOne
According to reports, activist hackers in Belarus interrupted some of the country’s train connections after penetrating computers that control these trains. The motive seems to be the slowing down of the transfer of Russian soldiers entering Ukraine. In addition, the attack should provide the Ukrainians with additional time to resist the Russian attack, Bloomberg reports . The plan provides for the hackers to put the train system in manual control mode, which significantly slows down the movement of trains, but does not cause emergency situations.
Parallels with historical military strategies
A historical perspective on these incidents shows clear parallels to the acts of sabotage in the 2nd World War. Thus, the resistance carried out attacks against railways and tracks with the same goal – to impede the transportation of soldiers. The same tactics are used today, only the means have changed. Seventy years ago, the members of the resistance had to be physically present, which is no longer the case today. The Internet has connected humanity in a way that no one would have thought possible. It has also created new ways of warfare that may not have been obvious in war planning. The cyber partisans can operate in Belarus without actually having to be on the ground. The risk of capture is lower, and the chances of success are higher, since you can operate continuously for hours.
These and similar acts of cyber sabotage illustrate some of the indirect effects of the hacker attacks on the strategies of both sides.
Russia’s military planners have drawn up a schedule for the transfer of troops, based on operational requirements. If these schedules are disrupted, it could have a significant impact on the course of warfare. A late arrival of the troops affects the entire logistics and there are backlogs. Similar to airlines that try to rebook passengers on other flights when travel is interrupted, such a logistics problem can lead to delays lasting for days here. If the cyberattacks on Russian troop transports in Belarus can delay the advance, then this can only help Ukraine save even more lives.