Fake News & Disinformation In Poland  

The Polish government has said that a recent false story stating that citizens would be mobilised to fight in Ukraine that appeared on the PAP national news agency was likely a Russian cyber attack. Prime Minister Donald Tusk described the hacking attack as part of Russia’s attempts to destabilise the European Parliament elections. 

The fake news report is probably the work of Russia-sponsored hackers and was designed to interfere with the upcoming European Parliament election, according to Polish sources. 

With EU parliament elections being held in Poland, authorities are focusing on attempts by Moscow to influence  the vote. These fears intensified recently when a false article about military mobilisation appeared. These events coincide with an exploit which knocked the German CDU opposition party offline this week.

Security officials said that their experts were working to find the source of the hack, and also insulate PAP from further attempts to publish fake news on its systems. The government says that Poland, which supports Ukraine in its war with Russia, is being targeted in a hybrid war directed by the intelligence services of Russia and Belarus.  

Polish authorities say the techniques being used include sending migrants to the border from the Belarus side and cyber attacks on state administration offices. Digital affairs minister Krzysztof Gawkowski, who also serves as deputy prime minister, also announced that “an urgent investigation” has been launched into the incident. “Everything points to a cyber attack and planned disinformation!” 

Speaking to broadcaster Polsat News, Gawkowski added that “everything points to the fact that the cyber attack was directed from the Russian side”.  “The aim is to disinform and paralyse the public before the elections,” he said. Gawkowski also thanked Polish journalists and news outlets for quickly identifying the news story as disinformation. 

In response to growing threats, the government of Poland is pledged to spend $760 million to boost its national cyber security.

Reuters   |   APNews   |   Euractiv   |   Notes from Poland   |   TVP World   |    Yahoo

Image:  Ideogram 

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