Botnet Attack on Polish Government Network

According to security researchers, computer servers at the government institutions of Poland suffered a well-synchronized cyber attack, which was allegedly launched by Russian sources in September 2009.

The details of this attack on the Polish government are not yet revealed, as reported by the daily Rzeczpospolita. The attack took place in the beginning of September, a particularly intense moment, near about Westerplatte visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The purpose of his visit was to commemorate the outburst of the Second World War, as reported by NATIONAL on October 11, 2009.

Meanwhile, security experts informed that generally botnets are behind such attacks. Botnet is a sort of robot network of PCs that are connected to the Internet, with all sharing a common technology, i.e. a spyware/virus that permits a remote hacker to access and control the system. A botnet may vary from 10 computers to 10,000 computers or even more. Further, the fact that most of these systems are located in a particular country does not mean that the hacker who is controlling the process is also there.

Russia was, however, linked to some other major cyber attacks in past. It was in 2007 that Russian hackers disabled the entire IT infrastructure of Estonia, after the Estonian government decided to shift a WWII soviet memorial monument. Then, the websites of Georgian Presidency and other government institutions were compromised during the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in 2008. It is also suspected that the Russia's cyber-militia was responsible for the incident that took place in January 2009, wherein Internet across Kyrgyzstan collapsed.

The deputy chief of Poland's internal security agency Agencja Bezpieczenstwa Wewnetrznego, Colonel Pawel Bialek, told the daily that several anonymous agencies of Polish government became direct target of the attack. The agency's cyber patrol, that identified the suspicious traffic, blocked the assaults, as reported by SOFTPEDIA on October 15, 2009.

Furthermore, the ARAKIS-GOV system registered more than 1 Million incidents in 2008. However, so far this year, nearly 450,000 attacks have been identified. As per the data collected, majority of these attacks were launched from systems based in the US and China, although this does not indicate the actual origin of these attacks.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

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