Russian cyber attack on Poland? Media sites scramble to restore services

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Polish cybersecurity services spent Thursday helping news portals that had been attacked by Russian hackers restore their web services.

Several news and information sites were affected by what appeared to be an orchestrated cyberattack by Russian groups. Among those attacked were conservative portals,, and Several portals reported problems for users in opening their web pages. 

According to the Polish government’s cybersecurity team, the hacking attack hit the portal the hardest, but other sites were also affected.

The National Research Institute (NASK) identified the attack as a DDoS assault, which consists of a hacker flooding a server with internet traffic to prevent users from accessing connected online services and pages. As soon as the institute had information about the attack, it began working with portal administrators of the sites affected; however, since these portals are not part of the public sector, they are not allowed to talk about the details or origins of the attack.

To mitigate the security threats to Polish internet resources, a special cybersecurity team has been created at NASK called CERT Polska. Its main task is to react to hacking incidents and is one of three CSIRTs (computer security incident response teams) responsible for protecting Polish cyberspace from threats.

The Polish government’s information security tsar, Stanisław Żaryn, and the cybersecurity tsar, Janusz Cieszyński, commented on the incident.

According to Żaryn, the hack bore all the hallmarks of a Russian attack in that it was targeted at causing chaos and disinformation rather than obtaining data. He added that Russia is currently looking at every avenue possible to destabilize the Polish state. 

Janusz Cieszyński revealed that all the portals received alerts about the expected attacks before they actually took place. He said he was pleased that at least the state now had such information in advance; Polish intelligence services had supplied the information that an attack orchestrated by Russia was on the way, and Thursday’s events confirmed this.

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