Poland to boost cybersecurity after fake news attack

Illustration shows words "Cyber Security\

WARSAW (Reuters) -Poland will spend over 3 billion zlotys ($760 million) to boost cybersecurity, the digitalisation minister said on Monday, after state news agency PAP was hit by what authorities say was likely a Russian cyberattack.

With European parliament elections to be held in Poland on Sunday, authorities are on high alert for attempts by Moscow to interfere in the vote, fears that intensified on Friday when a false article about military mobilisation appeared on PAP.

Warsaw has repeatedly accused Moscow of attempting to destabilise Poland because of its role in supplying military aid to its neighbour Ukraine, allegations Russia has dismissed.

"We want to allocate over 3 billion zlotys for a 'Cyber Shield'," Krzysztof Gawkowski told a news conference. "Today, Poland is on the frontline of the cyber fight against Russia. Poland has the most attacks."

Gawkowski said that on Sunday and Monday Poland had blocked several cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.

"The Russian Federation has one goal - to destabilise the situation and ensure that the forces supporting the breakup of the EU can benefit," he said.

Russia's embassy in Warsaw on Friday said it had no knowledge of the attack on PAP. It has dismissed accusations that Russia is trying to destabilise Poland.

Poland has also linked Russia to incidents of sabotage and arson on its soil and says Russian secret services are actively trying to gather information on weapons deliveries to Ukraine after Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

It has announced the re-establishment of a commission to investigate Russian influence.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Ros Russell)