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Cyber attack on Polish officials came from Russia, Kaczynski says

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Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski speaks during a parliament session in Warsaw, Poland, October 28, 2020. Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

WARSAW, June 18 (Reuters) - Top Polish government officials have been hit by a far-reaching cyber attack conducted from Russian territory, Poland's de facto leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Friday in his first official statement on an email hacking incident this month.

Kaczynski, who is deputy prime minister, said those targeted included ministers and lawmakers of various political parties.

"The analysis of our services and the secret services of our allies allows us to clearly state that the cyber attack was carried out from the territory of the Russian Federation. Its scale and range are wide," he said on the government website.

The Russian government and the Kremlin have repeatedly denied carrying out or tolerating cyber attacks following allegations from the United States about cyber attacks on U.S. territory, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. read more

Polish media reported earlier this month that e-mails sent by some government officials from their private email boxes, including those of the prime minister's top aide, were leaked and made available on the Telegram social media platform.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier this week that the mail boxes were taken over by unauthorized people. His aide Michal Dworczyk said that some of the e-mails and information was stolen from mailboxes owned by him and his family and published on Telegram, while some were falsified.

"Currently, I am not able to say exactly when my e-mail account was successfully hacked, but I would like to emphasize once again that I did not use it to send any information that could pose a threat to state security," Dworczyk said last week.

On Wednesday the government presented information about the cyberattacks during the parliament's lower house meeting that was made confidential at Morawiecki's request.

Opposition parties have criticised the Law and Justice (PiS) government for using their private mailboxes for official e-mail exchanges.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Florkiewicz; editing by Philippa Fletcher

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