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Poles Blame Kremlin For 'Unprecedented' Cyberattack On Senior Officials

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (file photo)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (file photo)

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that Poland's security services were scrambling to "secure the many inboxes" of ranking politicians victimized by an "external hack cooked up at the Kremlin."

His statement on June 18 came after the chairman of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, described a "large-scale" cyberattack on leading Polish politicians there that Kaczynski also said was launched from inside Russia.

Kaczinski described the targets as "Poland's top officials, ministers, lawmakers of various political stripes."

Two days earlier, Polish lawmakers held a closed-door session to mount a response to what a government spokesman said was an "unprecedented" attack.

Many sides on EU and NATO member Poland's political landscape are staunch historical critics of Russia.

Warsaw has been a leading voice for tough responses to Russia's seizure of Ukrainian territory in 2014 and its military buildup on its western border.

It has also taken hard lines over Mosow's alleged poisoning of political opponents at home and abroad, election meddling, Kremlin support for a brutal crackdown on political dissent in neighboring Belarus, and ongoing cybercrime emanating from Russia.

The e-mail account of Poland's COVID-19 vaccination chief, Michal Dworczyk, was reportedly hacked a week ago and purported messages posted on the Internet.

Kaczynski said the cyberattack was intended to "destabilize our country."

At their summit on June 16, U.S. President Joe Biden said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to further discussions on keeping certain types of critical infrastructure off-limits to cyberattacks.

Biden also said they would hold additional talks on the pursuit of criminals carrying out ransomware attacks.

NATO leaders this week denounced Moscow's "hybrid actions," "widespread disinformation campaigns," and "malicious" cyberactivities.

Based on reporting by AFP and the Financial Times