Norway says Russians hacked defense, security agencies

Norway's claims of Russian hacking come amid frosty relations with Russia's government, led by President Vladimir Putin. Photo by Sputnik/EPA

Feb. 4 (UPI) — Norway’s top security agency said Friday that several of the country’s government agencies have been targeted by Russian cyberattacks.

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) said Moscow launched attacks against the defense and foreign ministries, the Labour Party and even the security agency itself.

The claim comes at a time of increasing tension between Norway and Russia. Earlier this week, Oslo expressed disappointment that two Norwegian Parliament members were denied travel visas to Russia — a move that some consider payback for Norwegian sanctions slapped on Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“We were informed by the PST that Labour’s parliamentary group was subjected to an attempted digital attack by a group that the PST ties to foreign intelligence,” Labour spokeswoman Camilla Ryste said.

On Friday, the PST said at least nine government email accounts were targeted in the cyberattacks.

Norwegian officials said the group that hacked the Labour Party was APT 29, also known as Cozy Bear, which supposedly has ties to Russia’s top security service, FSB. APT 29 was also linked by intelligence officials to the attack on the U.S. Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential campaign.

The cyberattacks occurred last fall.

On Thursday, Moscow accused Norway of being anti-Russian and said Oslo was attempting to roll back relations to their Cold War state. The response came after Norway classified Russia as a significant danger in its 2017 threat assessment.

In the United States, the CIA and FBI have reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking Kremlin officials were involved in cyberattacks on Democratic Party organizations last year in an effort to sway the U.S. election in President Donald Trump‘s favor.


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