May 2015

Russia’s Hybrid War Against Poland

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By Matthew Czekaj

In early April 2015, the Polish Internal Security Agency’s Governmental Computer Security Incident Response Team (also known as CERT—Computer Emergency Response Team), released its annual report on cyber security in Poland (Cert.gov.pl, April 3). According to the report’s findings, Poland came under a record number of hacker and cyber attacks in 2014—7,498 specific cyber attack “incidents” last year, compared to 5,670 confirmed incidents in 2013, 457 in 2012, and 249 attacks verified by CERT in 2011 (Cert.gov.pl, accessed April 28). In addition to a marked escalation in cases, the threat and level of sophistication of the registered cyber attacks also increased compared to previous years, in many cases pointing to state backing. The report highlights a series of high-profile hacking and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against key Polish state and financial websites in mid-August 2014, including the homepage of Poland’s president and the Warsaw stock exchange. Those incidents were promptly claimed by an online group calling itself “Cyber Berkut,” which stated it was acting in retaliation against the Polish government’s support of the post-EuroMaidan Ukrainian authorities.

NATO Secretary General praises Croatia for contributions to shared security

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Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to NATO headquarters on Wednesday (29 April 2015) for talks on the security environment and NATO’s continued adaptation. Calling Croatia a “staunch Ally”, Mr. Stoltenberg thanked the President personally for her “deep strength and dedication to this Alliance for many years.”