Private and public institutions in Norway have been subjected to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber attack in the last 24 hours.
This is the warning from Norway’s national security agency, NSM, on Wednesday, which revealed that a criminal pro Russia group was behind the cyberattacks that began overnight.
“A criminal pro-Russian group appears to be behind the attacks,” NSM was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement.
According to the Norwegian agency, the attacks targeted institutions offering important services.
However it did not name any of those organisations that have been impacted by the attacks.
Reuters reported however that the website of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority was unavailable on Wednesday and Norwegian media reported that it had been among those attacked.
“We’ve seen similar attacks in other countries recently although none of them have reported any lasting impact,” NSM director Sofie Nystroem reportedly said.
“This can still spread uncertainty in the general population,” she added.
“We are working to find out whether there is a link with state-sponsored actors,” Nystroem later told broadcaster TV2.
“We are quite certain that no sensitive information was taken.”
Earlier this week cyberattack temporarily knocked out public and private websites in Lithuania, in what believe was Russia’s retailaton for Vilnius’s decision to cease the transit of some goods under European Union sanctions to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
The Norway attacks also come on the same day as Finland and Sweden were invited to formally join NATO.
Norway is one of the 12 founding members of NATO, which was founded back in 1949.
The DDoS attacks on Norway has been noted by a security expert from Swedish cybersecurity firm, Clavister, who noted that critical industries urgently need to ensure their infrastructure is protected.
“This is another in a series of attacks that we have seen by pro-Russian hacking groups, who have predictably become more vocal and visible after Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said Neena Sharma, senior strategist Clavister.
“What is most concerning is the targeting of specific individuals and scaremongering of the general public by attacking critical infrastructure and public services – Lithuania being so quickly followed by Norway shows the ferocity with which these groups can infiltrate organisations when given the opportunity to do so,” said Sharma.
“Although the full scale and extent of this attack’s impact remains unclear at this point, it is beyond question that critical infrastructure and public services providers must urgently keep their threat awareness and preparedness at a constant high level and actively look for ways to mitigate any vulnerabilities or gaps in their cyber security infrastructure,” Sharma concluded.
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