Hackers calling themselves the Belarusian Cyber Partisans acquired passport data supposedly belonging to the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, and minted a non-fungible token (NFT) out of it.
In a Twitter thread, the Cyber Partisans said, “The dictator has a birthday today – help us ruin it for him! Purchase this work of art today. A special offer – a New Belarus passport for #lukashenka where he’s behind the bars. Make it happen while he is still living.”
According to the group, it intends to resist “bloody governments in Minsk and Moscow.”
The group had previously claimed responsibility for a number of well-known hacks, including one against the Belarusian train system.
Belarusian collective established in 2020
The organization was founded in September 2020 in reaction to protests in Belarus following the contentious presidential election.
The collective is one of three anti-government resistance movements that comprise the “Suprativ” collective of technologists.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the Scorching Heat campaign last year gained a wide range of government data by hacking the Belarus passport system and traffic police database.
Apart from Belarusian passports, the group claims to give passports of other “traitors” of the Belarusian and Ukrainian peoples.
They further claimed that all proceeds from the selling of NFTs will be utilized to promote their work against the governments in Minsk and Moscow.
During the height of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, the latter used cryptocurrency to aid the country. It was reported that the beleaguered Ukrainian government spent $54 million in cryptocurrency donations on military and medical supplies.
OpenSea may spark a censorship controversy.
As the internet evolves from Web2 to Web3, it is expected to have an inherent resistance to censorship. The debate, though, is more complicated. According to the hacking group, OpenSea delisted their NFT collection.
“We may have to go through one or two hype cycles before the most significant components of the technology breakthrough,” said Dr. Gavin Wood, founder of the Web3 Foundation and Polkadot blockchain network.