Russia's Anthem Played, Putin's Speech Broadcast - Suspects Detained in Poland for Hacking Attack on Railways
Police in Poland have apprehended two individuals suspected of orchestrating an illegal breach of the national railway communication network, causing disruptions to train services.
This development has been reported by i24news.
Both detainees, Polish citizens aged 24 and 29, were taken into custody in the eastern city of Bialystok. The arrests were accompanied by the seizure of radio equipment at the suspects' residences.
The breach led to delays and stoppages for approximately 20 trains.
The Polish railway operator, PKP PLK SA, has disclosed that a breach of railway communication frequencies occurred in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. During the attack, a radio signal prompting emergency stops in a specific area was transmitted. Spokesperson Magdalena Janus clarified that the unauthorized radio stop signal was transmitted by an unidentified perpetrator at 21:23 on Friday on the 273 line between Daleszewo and Szczecin Glowny, as well as on the 351 line between Holdunowo and Szczecin Glowny. The signal was picked up by traffic control posts and train drivers situated in the region. The spokesperson emphasized that there was no direct threat to passengers' safety. As a result of this incident, over 20 trains were held up due to the unauthorized radio stop signal. However, indications suggest that this was not just a train traffic obstruction.
During the stoppage, another incident occurred. Railway personnel across Poland heard not only the announcement of train stops but also a broadcast of Putin's speech and Russia's national anthem.
Recall that on March 16, the head of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and the coordinator of Poland's intelligence agencies, Mariusz Kaminski, announced the exposure and dismantling of a spy network operating on behalf of the Russian Federation.
Furthermore, in the subsequent months of this year, additional arrests were made in Poland relating to the same spy network. A prominent example was the arrest of a Russian ice hockey player on suspicion of espionage on June 30.
Overall, from March to July of this year, 15 individuals were detained on charges of espionage for Russia's military intelligence agency, GRU. They face up to 10 years in prison. These individuals hail from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. According to the investigation, they received remote tasks directly from Moscow, and upon completing them, they were rewarded in cryptocurrency, which was then exchanged for cash.
The participants in this spy network, acting on Russia's orders, were not only tasked with gathering information, photographing specific military and civilian targets, or fueling anti-Ukrainian and anti-NATO sentiments, but also with preparing acts of sabotage. Journalists discovered that the 66-volume case materials contain evidence pointing to plans to blow up trains carrying weapons and humanitarian supplies destined for Ukraine.