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Polish gov't minister warns of heightened cybersecurity risks ahead of EU elections

23.05.2024 19:30
Poland's digital affairs minister has issued a stern warning about an expected surge in cyberattacks from Russia in the next two weeks, aimed at destabilizing the upcoming European Union elections.
Krzysztof Gawkowski
Krzysztof GawkowskiPrzemysław Chmielewski/Polskie Radio

Speaking on Thursday, Krzysztof Gawkowski said that these attacks are likely to focus on spreading disinformation and targeting critical infrastructure.

He highlighted ongoing increases in cyber threats by Russian or Belarusian entities.

In response, Poland has ramped up its cybersecurity measures, including enhanced coordination and a joint cybersecurity operations center for various security services, he said.

The warning comes against increasing cyber threats to Poland and other European countries.

Gawkowski, who also serves as the government commissioner for cybersecurity, reported a 100-percent increase in hacking attacks year-on-year, emphasizing the scale and seriousness of the threat.

His comments, following a meeting of EU digital ministers in Brussels where potential attacks were a key topic of discussion, were made during an interview with private Polish broadcaster Radio Zet.

According to Gawkowski, the expected peak in cyber activity directed at Poland and Europe from Russia will be the most significant in five years.

"In the next two weeks, there will be the highest level of activity related to various types of cyber acts against Poland and Europe, directed from Russia and the largest in five years," he warned.

Russia aims to destabilize the situation ahead of the EU elections in member states, according to officials across Europe.

"Poland is undoubtedly on the front line of this cyber front," Gawkowski said, listing "two key areas: disinformation and attacks directed at critical infrastructure."

While Poland has developed robust cybersecurity defenses, Gawkowski stressed the importance of vigilance among citizens, cautioning that the government's protection is robust but not infallible.

"The state protects you, but you must also be cautious," he advised, highlighting the shared responsibility in facing these threats.

Gawkowski said earlier this month that Poland was "in a state of cyber Cold War with Russia" and urged large social media platforms to strengthen their safety procedures.


Source: PAP