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Poland joins Germany in accusing Russia of cyberattacks, says ‘was targeted too’



Poland on Saturday (May 4) denounced Russia for its alleged cyberattacks reported by Germany and the Czech Republic stating that it was too targeted by the hackers.

Expressing solidarity with Germany and the Czech Republic, Poland’s foreign ministry released a statement condemning the “harmful activities” carried out in cyberspace by Russian entities.

“Poland, which is also one of the targets of the APT 28 attacks, strongly condemns the repeated, unacceptable and harmful activities carried out in cyberspace by Russian entities,” the statement said.

However, Warsaw did not provide any details regarding the attack in the statement.

“Facing the continuous increase in threats in cyberspace, Poland is actively working to protect critical infrastructure, build resilience and strengthen cyber defence.”

Germany, on Friday (May 3) blamed Russia for a series of cyberattacks and alleged that Moscow’s intelligence service was behind the activities that targeted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party Social Democrats (SPD), last year. 

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that a recent government investigation found that a cyberattack targeting members of the SPD had been carried out by a Russian group called APT28 which operates under “the military intelligence service of Russia”. 

“We can now clearly attribute the attack to the Russian group APT28, which is controlled by the Russian military intelligence service GRU,” Baerbock told reporters during a visit to Australia.

She added, “In other words, it was a state-sponsored Russian cyberattack on Germany and this is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences. 

APT28, also known as Fancy Bear or Pawn Storm, has been accused of dozens of cyberattacks around the world. 

Last year, SPD announced that cybercriminals had targeted email accounts belonging to its executives, earlier in 2023. 

According to German officials, hackers exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook to compromise email accounts. 

The German interior ministry also said that from December 2022 onwards SPD and companies in the logistics, defence, aerospace and IT sectors were targeted by Russian hackers. 

Czech levels similar allegations

Officials in the Czech Republic also levelled similar allegations against Russia. Czech government officials said some of its state institutions had been the target of cyberattacks blamed on APT28 who again exploited a weakness in Microsoft Outlook, last year. 

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser during a joint news conference in Prague with her Czech counterpart Vit Rakusan said such cyberattacks are “a threat to our democracy, national security and our free societies”. 

She added, “We are calling on Russia again to stop these activities.” Meanwhile, Rakusan said his country’s infrastructure had recently experienced “higher dozens” of such attacks. 

The Russian Embassy in Germany however denied the allegations stating that its envoy “categorically rejected the accusations that Russian state structures were involved in the given incident… as unsubstantiated and groundless”. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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