A senior official in Poland has confirmed an uptick in cyberattacks on governmental systems, as attacks on financial and electrical systems.
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Janusz Cieszynski, the official in charge of cyber security, confirmed computer servers of the Polish government and the national system for payment clearing had experienced more cyberattacks in recent days, Reuters reported.
Cieszynski was speaking on Polish public radio on Friday, and he said authorities had not yet identified the source of the attacks.
But the attacks come as Russia presses ahead with its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Poland’s eastern neighbour.
Ukraine of course has suffered a number of cyberattacks in recent weeks, that Kyiv has blamed on Russia.
That said, some observers have been surprised at the fairly limited nature of Russia’s cyber activities against Ukraine so far, amid intense fighting. Mobile networks remain operational, as is Internet connectivity.
Moscow for its part has repeatedly denied any involvement in any cyberattacks.
Although it should be remembered that Moscow for months also denied it was intending to invading Ukraine.
“The website of the (Polish) national clearing system, and servers dedicated to the government email network have been attacked,” Cieszynski was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“The attacks are being monitored… It’s too early to assign authorship of these attacks,” he reportedly said.
Separately, the chief executive of Poland’s top power utility PGE SA, Wojciech Dabrowski, told the broadcaster that his company’s IT networks had also been attacked.
The good news is that Poland’s supply of heat and power had not been interrupted.
Poland on Monday increased its cyber security alert level, obliging operators of critical infrastructure to closely monitor their systems.
Last night, US President Joe Biden warned Putin that “if Russia purses cyberattacks against us, against our critical industries, we are prepared to respond.”
He also revealed that the US will now be placing tech export controls on Russia, and that more than half over Russia’s high tech imports will be cut as a result.
Meanwhile the UK’s defence secretary Ben Wallace, said on Friday that according to the UK’s assessments of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin had failed in his military objectives on the first day of fighting (on Thursday).
“Our assessment as of this morning is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives, in fact it is behind its hoped-for timetable,” Wallace told Sky News.
Wallace also revealed that Russia is suffering casualties, in the face of stiff opposition.
“They have lost over 450 personnel,” he reported said. “One of the significant airports they were trying to capture with their elite Spetsnaz [special forces] has failed to be taken. In fact, the Ukrainians have taken it back.”
“So, I think contrary to great Russian claims, and indeed President Putin’s sort of vision that somehow the Ukrainians would be liberated and would be flocking to his cause – he’s got that completely wrong. The Russian army has failed to deliver on day one its main objective.”
The UK, US and Canada meanwhile are reportedly keen to exclude Russia from the SWIFT payment system, but this is being resisted by a number of EU countries.
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