WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish and Lithuanian governments say they have been the target of a cyber disinformation attack that appears aimed at undermining relations between the two NATO allies.
A Polish government official, Stanislaw Zaryn, said Russia appeared to be the culprit, saying the type of attack falls into a recent pattern of informational warfare directed by the Kremlin against NATO members on the eastern flank of the alliance.
The cyberattack involved a false press release published last week that claimed to be issued by Lithuanian border guards. The fabricated statement said a Polish diplomat was caught smuggling narcotics, firearms, explosives and extremist materials into Lithuania, said Zaryn, the spokesman for the head of Poland’s security services.
The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said it “has worked in coordination with other responsible Lithuanian institutions and determined that this was a complex cyber-information attack.”
It added that “there has been an increase in cyber-information attacks aimed at undermining the friendly relationship between Lithuania and Poland, and at igniting discord.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, Zaryn said the hacking also involved a fake Facebook account pretending to belong to a regional Polish official spreading the “news” in Polish.
“The fashion in which the attack was carried, the fact that it targeted the relations between Poland and Lithuania, and the fact that it was yet another cyber-campaign of this kind allow (us) to conclude that Russia might be the culprit,” Zaryn said.