Norway Has Accused A Russia-Linked Group Of Hacking Government Agencies

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02.03.17 2 Comments

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On Friday, Norway announced that its foreign ministry, army, and additional institutions were the targets of a cyber-attack by a Russia linked group. The group believed to be responsible, APT 29 (or Cozy Bear), has also been linked to the attack on the DNC during the election. And this hack used similar phishing tactics as those used against Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta.

Detail are scarce about the purpose of the hack, but Arne Christian Haugstoyl, an official with the country’s intelligence service (PST), said the hackers targeted nine PST email accounts in a phishing campaign (sending emails from a seemingly trusted source to entice the intended receiver to send confidential information). Along with the PST, the group went after a school, the radiation protection agency, and the parliamentary group of the Labour party.

Despite the targets at hand, PST spokesman Martin Bernsen said there was “no reason to believe that classified information had been obtained in connection with the attack.” Russia’s supposed involvement makes this a tricky situation, as relations between the two countries has been dicey since the Ukraine crisis. The Guardian notes that Moscow had denied visas to two Norway senior parliamentarians on Wednesday, which was criticized as “unjustifiable.” Russia replied that it was reacting to Norway’s role in European Unions sanctions against them.

The hacks come at a fascinating time as legislative elections are set to occur in September, although no link between the hack and election has been proven yet. But if Norway can learn anything from the U.S., they may want to get to the bottom of this hack before the election.

(Via The Guardian & BBC)

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