Norway Suspects Russian Group in Recent Cyber Attack

Media Division | February 6, 2017

According to Norwegian intelligence, a group with links to Russian authorities is suspected in a recent cyber attack on Norway’s foreign ministry, army, and other institutions.  The Russian group known as APT 29, which was singled out by Oslo, is the same group that was also accused of hacking interference in the 2016 presidential election.

According to a statement given to channel TV2, by Arne Christian Haugstoyl, who is an official of Norway’s intelligence service, “Nine different email accounts were targeted in an attempt at what is called spear phishing, in other words, malicious emails.”  Spear phishing is a very common method of attack, being that it can very easily fool one undereducated individual.  Norway was notified of the operation by an allied country, but it was difficult to know what the goal of it was, said Haugstoyl.

Norway and Russia have typically had amicable relations, but tension has grown since the Ukraine crisis.  Moscow had denied visas to two parliamentarians, which they stated was a reaction to Norway’s participation in sanctions against Russia in regard to the Ukraine crisis.  And recently, the deployment of 300 US soldiers in Norway angered Moscow.

There have been several cyber attacks upon nation governments in which fingers have been pointed at Russia.  There were the DNC hacks during the US election, a hacking of Czech diplomat’s emails last month, as well as this recent attack.  There have been several accusations of the hacks being related to Russian authorities, though at this point, there does not seem to be any concrete evidence released backing this up, and Russia has denied these claims.  So whether this group is simply a rogue Russian group, or is actually connected to the government of Russia, they do not seem to be slowing down in targeting different countries.

Protecting Your Assets and Data

With the large amount of spear phishing and other cyber attacks that take place on a daily basis, organizations must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to cyber security.  The fact that even several governments are being targeted and breached makes this a critical time to fortify valuable assets and data.  If an organization has anything less than formidable cyber security, they are putting themselves at risk.  Whether a business is seeking to implement further cyber security services or fortify what is in place, Massive Alliance offers comprehensive services to prevent cyber attacks.

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