Norway under cyber-seige
10 companies involved in oil, gas, energy, defence hacked
Norway on Friday faced its biggest wave of hacking and espionage attacks, which hit key defence and energy companies, the National Security Agency (NSM) said.
Approximately ten companies have been targeted by hackers over the past year, the string of attacks are believed to have all been perpetrated by one hacker group, NSM told the AFP.
"We have to suppose that the actual number [of victims] is much higher, but that many [companies] have not been in contact" with authorities, the NSM said.
The security agency has refused to point fingers at those responsible and has said that it was difficult to track down the perpetrators, who used servers based abroad for their attacks.
"This is the first time that a hacking campaign of this magnitude has been detected in Norway," NSM spokesman Kjetil Berg Veire told AFP.
In each hacking attack, the perpetrators sent seemingly legitimate emails to specific people, the emails contained a well-concealed virus handing them remote access to the computer in question.
Each attack appeared to have been tailored for a specific company, this allowed it to escape detection by anti-virus systems, NSM said.
The main targets of the attack were companies in the oil, gas, defence and energy sectors.
NSM did not reveal the names of the companies, but said that on several occasions that attacks came when the companies were involved in large-scale contract negotiations.
Hackers used the attacks to gain access to documents, industrial charts, usernames and passwords.