Image: Brig. Gen. Karol Molenda, Polish CDF Commander (via CDF)
Image: Brig. Gen. Karol Molenda, Polish CDF Commander (via CDF)

Poland Army adds new cyber component with offensive capabilities

The Polish government has announced today the creation of a new cyber component inside its Army Forces that will be tasked with carrying out operations in cyber-space.

Named the Cyberspace Defense Forces (Wojska Obrony Cyberprzestrzeni), the new branch will operate as a command center inside the Polish Army and will have the authority to carry out reconnaissance, defensive, and offensive operations, the Polish Ministry of National Defense said today.

Work on establishing this unit began in 2019 and was formalized earlier today in a ceremony at the Club of the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, where Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak appointed Brig. Gen. Karol Molenda as the unit's inaugural commander.

Prior to his appointment today, Gen. Molenda had also served as the head of the National Cyberspace Security Center, another cyber unit in the Polish Army that was tasked with research in the cybersecurity, IT, and cryptography fields.

He will lead both units, and both the CDF and NCSC will continue to operate separately, with the CDF focused on military cyber operations while the NCSC will continue focusing on research and development of secure technologies.

With today's announcement, Poland becomes one of the very few countries in the world to formally create a cyber component for their armed forces after NATO officially declared cyberspace a formal warfare battleground and domain of operations at the 2016 NATO Summit, held in Warsaw, Poland.

As part of its focus on improving its military cyber capabilities, the Polish government said it also plans to continue recruiting, acquiring and creating "tools for the full spectrum of activities in cyberspace," building a center for combined cyberspace operations, and creating the largest "cyber polygon" in Europe.

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Catalin Cimpanu

Catalin Cimpanu

is a cybersecurity reporter who previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.