Poland confirmed today that they will move forward with building a national missile defense shield. A move that will no doubt draw the ire of Russia and possible cyber attacks as they see the missile shield as a threat to their national security.
Today, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski signed into law an amendment guaranteeing funds for the program through 2023. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Parliment:
“We will create our own air defense system. Our national missile shield, with the American shield, the elements of which will be on our territory by 2018 and will make up part of the NATO system.”
Poland’s president also met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Thursday to express support for their interest in increasing ties with Europe and bilateral relations. Russia has had rocky relations with Georgia since they declared their independence in 1991 and the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.
The missile defense plan has drawn strong opposition from Russia as they see the shield as a threat to their national security. Add to that Poland’s increasing ties with the US, Georgia and NATO, and you have a potential powder keg.
Last month, Poland’s presidential network was hacked, and the Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministries offices were also attacked. Apparently a hacker known as Alladyn2 has claimed responsibility for the attack. Alladyn2 was quoted as saying his attacks were meant only to “test the government’s ability to withstand them“.
The hacker also claimed to attack the Polish network a year ago and there is a Pastebin post under his name with a list of NT Active Directory account hashes supposedly obtained from a Polish government site in 2012 (But posted last month).
Though Poland has been under attack in the past by the hacker group Anonymous, these were mostly Distributed Denial of Service type attacks, not direct hacking attempts.
Could it have been Russia that was truly behind the intrusion attempts of Poland’s government network?
We may truly never know, as they are not going to release information about it. But with the open protest of Poland’s proposed missile defense shield, and their increased ties with the West, it is definitely a strong possibility.