Norway hit by major data-theft attack

Nov 17, 2011

(AP) -- Data from Norway's oil and defense industries may have been stolen in what is feared to be one of the most extensive data espionage cases in the country's history, security officials said Thursday.

Industrial secrets from companies were stolen and "sent out digitally from the country," the Norwegian Authority said, though it did not name any companies or institutions that were targeted.

At least 10 different attacks, mostly aimed at the oil, gas, energy and defense industries, were discovered in the past year, but the agency said it has to assume the number is much higher because many victims have yet to realize that their computers have been hacked.

"This is the first time Norway has unveiled such an extensive and widespread espionage attack," it said.

Spokesman Kjetil Berg Veire added it is likely that more than one person is behind the attacks.

The methods varied, but in some cases individually crafted e-mails that, armed with viruses, would sweep recipients' entire hard-drives for data and steal passwords, documents and confidential documents.

The agency said in a statement that this type of data-theft was "cost-efficient" for foreign and that "espionage over the Internet is cheap, provides good results and is low-risk." Veire would not elaborate, but said it was not clear who was behind the attacks.

The attacks often occurred when companies were negotiating large contracts, the agency said.

Important Norwegian institutions have been targeted by hackers before.

In 2010, some two weeks after Chinese dissident and democracy activist Liu Xiaobo was named that year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Norway's Nobel Institute website came under attack, with a , a particularly potent , being installed on it.

Other attacks on the institute in that same period came via email, containing virus-infected attachments.

Explore further: Just whose Internet is it? New federal rules may answer that

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New cyber attack linked to Nobel Peace Prize

Nov 10, 2010

A fake email invitation to this year's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is currently circulating and carrying with it a virus capable of infecting the computer of anyone who opens it, computer security experts warned.

Security firm: Hackers hit chemical companies

Nov 01, 2011

(AP) -- Cyber attacks traced to China targeted at least 48 chemical and military-related companies in an effort to steal technical secrets, a U.S. computer security company said Tuesday, adding to complaints about pervasive ...

Peace Nobel website under cyber attack

Oct 26, 2010

The Nobel Peace Prize website came under cyber attack from Taiwan, Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor said Tuesday, less than three weeks after jailed Chinese dissent Liu Xiaobo won the award.

New cyber attack on Japan parliament

Nov 02, 2011

Japan's parliament has come under cyber attack again, apparently from the same emails linked to a China-based server that have already hit several lawmakers' computers, an official said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

When Facebook goes down it takes big chunks of the internet with it

Jan 30, 2015

Checking social networks is a morning ritual for many, and when that routine is disrupted – as it was recently when Facebook's servers went down – its absence can come as a surprise. But what also becomes apparent is that when the world's most popular social network is inaccessible, so t ...

Facebook adds 'tips' in potential Yelp challenge

Jan 29, 2015

Facebook on Thursday launched a new feature that automatically provides tips about places where members of the social network might be, potentially challenging review websites like Yelp.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nerdyguy
Nov 17, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 20, 2011
Wow! Are you freaking kidding me PhysOrg?

There are rants all over PhysOrg about meaningless, pointless drivel. The most common is "death to America" or "death to Americans".

You refuse to remove these posts, yet you remove a post where I say "thanks China"???

Are you say clueless as to not understand that China is the SINGLE country that is MOST OFTEN identified by intelligence analysts around the globe for being the point of origination for these attacks?

Sad, very sad.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.