Security experts summarized the activities of Russian hackers during the October 15 elections. The NoName group boasted about a major attack on infrastructure, but the truth turned out to be different.
The Russian-linked hacker group NoName057(16) boasted of its attacks on Election Day, October 15, and the Saturday before. How effective were the actions on Polish infrastructure? As it turns out, we probably have nothing to fear.
Hacker attacks during elections ineffective – expert analysis
As we wrote in Wprost.pl, the hacker collective is quite active on Telegram and informed about its activities through its official profile on the website. According to these messages, cybercriminals were to prevent the websites from functioning on Saturday, October 14:
pkw.gov.pl – website of the National Electoral Commission;
ewybory.eu. – page presenting election results;
epuap.gov.pl – website of the ePUAP virtual office;
walbrzych.kbw.gov.pl – National Electoral Office, Branch Office in Wałbrzych.
However, the analysis by Check Point Research experts sent to our editorial office indicates that the attacked pages of government portals recorded only “periodic problems with maintaining operation.” At the same time, the most key goal – the website of the government website of the National Electoral Commission (pkw.gov.pl) – was to continue to operate without any problems.
Hackers and the elections on October 15 – the Russians’ actions were expected
– For many months, we have been witnessing deliberate interference by pro-Russian groups in the activities of public trust institutions in our region – comments Wojciech Głażewski, director of Check Point Software in Poland.
Taking into account the experience of the last 2 years and observations of the activities of hacktivist groups linked to Russia, we were aware of the real threat of an attack on Poland before or during the parliamentary elections this year – adds Głażewski.
Elections are a particularly sensitive moment in the country, when we are exposed to the actions of external forces, including hacker attacks and disinformation. The group mentioned above has a long history of similar activities.
– Poland is the main target of Russian-linked hacktivist groups, while the NoName057(16) group has been the most active against Polish targets over the last year – outlines Sergey Shykevich, also an analyst at Check Point Research.
The question surrounding the election weekend was not whether hackers would attack, but with what force. We have already seen examples of their operation before.
– We have long believed that the patterns and attacks that took place during the Czech presidential elections in early 2023 will also be repeated in Poland, and Russian hackers will conduct DDoS attacks on the candidates’ websites – emphasizes Shykevich.