Internet censorship has moved to a new level. Now Belarusian special services are terrorizing their own citizens.
About a week ago visitors of charter97.org website started to inform about viruses which allegedly spread by the website. Antiviruses block access to charter97.org website because of malicious code on the page.
Undoubtedly, no website is impervious to hacking, such cases happen on the internet, and responsibility for unintended virus spreading primarily falls on website owners. We have taken these reports seriously and carefully studied possible ways of infection, checked security of the server, excluded the possibility of virus entry through external elements (counters, buttons, google adsense). Now the editorial office and technical experts are working outside Belarus, and no viruses and injections have been found on the website.
As the situation is described by the users, antivirus detects an attempt of infection through the website, but not every time, but only several times a day, that is, after 20-50 times of the front page refreshing. As far as we know, only users from Belarus who open the website directly face attempts of their computers infecting. Those who are abroad, open the website through https or use VPN, do not see viruses.
We have managed to detect the page where the antivirus found a malicious code. A screenshot of the updated webpage was made at 4.01 p.m., while the time at the website (the clock is on the upper part of the page near the logo) is 2.37 p.m., that is, for some reason a user had downloaded an archived page with the virus, while there is no virus on the page itself.
Such things are possible when at the level of an internet provider a user is offered an infected copy instead of the original website. The same happened on the election day on December 19, 2010 when instead of the website at the .org domain, visitors from Belarus found themselves at a fake website charter97.in.
In other words, Belarusian special services infect visitors on purpose, and then use infected computers to organize DDoS attacks and spying. By the way, DDoS attack against charter97.or started on Monday and is still continuing.
What should be done?
Firstly, please do not panic. That is exactly the thing monsters from special services want. The number of charter97.org visitors confidently stays at the level of 110-120,000 unique users a day, and that’s what is scaring the authorities.
Secondly, install an antivirus with the latest databases and check your computer. There is a great number of free and paid variants, for instance you can use ESET NOD32 full functional version one month for free.
Thirdly, follow the elementary guidelines of computer security: change passwords from your post, social networks’ accounts, from Skype (delete the history of your conversations). It should be done at least once a months, and if you have something to hide, change your passwords more often.
We would like to remind the staff of the Informational and Analytical Centre under the president and personally to Mr Vakulchyk that they are comitting a crime. Sooner or later they will have to answer for that. In such a case you are not simply blocking the website, but intruding on personal lives of hundreds thousands of Belarusians, making their presence online open to attack and create possibilities for new cyber-crimes.