Poland Blames Russia After DDoS Attacks On News Websites

The Polish government has pointed the finger of blame at Russia, after a number of local news websites were hit by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Reuters quoted the Polish digitalisation minister as saying on Thursday that the DDoS attacks could be the action of Russian hacking groups.

It comes after the United States DoJ earlier this week charged and offered a $10 million reward for the arrest or capture of Russian national Mikhail Pavlovich Matveev, after he allegedly attacked US law enforcement agencies, as well as other victims worldwide.

DDoS attacks

Asked for comment by CNN on Twitter, Matveev replied with a video with a Russian man repeating the phrase, “I don’t give a f*** at all.”

Now Poland has publicly blamed Russia for the local DDoS attacks, after Warsaw positioned itself as one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies since Russia invaded the country.

Digitalisation minister Janusz Cieszynski reportedly said Poland frequently faces Russian attempts to destabilise the situation in the country.

In March Cieszynski had said that Russia was behind a hacking attack that had blocked users’ access to the government’s online tax filing system.

“Having information that such attacks are being prepared, we immediately informed all interested editorial offices so that they had the opportunity to react to this situation,” Janusz Cieszynski was quoted as saying this week by state-run news agency PAP.

Asked whether Russian groups were behind the attacks, Cieszynski reportedly said “we have such information.”

According to PAP, the websites affected included those of daily newspapers Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita and Super Express.

Reuters reported that Wyborcza confirmed on Twitter that it had been the victim of an attack, as did news website wPolityce.pl.

Russian attack?

Last November an American official said that the US Treasury had in October 2023 repelled a DDoS cyberattack by a pro-Russian hacker group.

DDoS attacks work by directing high volumes of internet traffic towards targeted servers in a relatively unsophisticated flood of data designed to knock them offline.

The Russian foreign ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about this latest attack, Reuters reported.

That said, Moscow has consistently denied that it carries out hacking operations.

Last month Cabinet Office secretary, Oliver Dowden, warned that Russian hackers want to ‘disrupt or destroy’ UK infrastructure.

The UK is firmly in Russian crosshairs considering the British have delivered its aclaimed NLAW anti tank missile to Ukraine last year, and led the world by delivering the first modern main battle tank – the Challenger 2 – to Ukraine.

The UK also last week delivered its long-range Storm Shadow cruise missile to Ukraine, giving that country the ability to strike Russian targets in its sovereign territory illegally occupied by Russia, including Crimea.

The UK has also send Ukraine its long range attack drones, and pledged to help train Ukraine pilots to fly the F16 fighter aircraft.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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