According to Norwegian officials, a cyber attack overwhelmed 12 ministries. Police probed the incident and notified the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. Authorities confirmed the government’s work continues as normal.
The Prime Minister’s services, including defence foreign affairs and justice ministries, were not affected since they have their separate platforms. However, work in the affected 12 ministries can’t proceed because workers have no access to common mobile services and email. In 2020 and 2021, Russian hackers attacked the Norwegian Parliament, targeting computers.
Cyber Attack Threatens 12 Norwegian Ministries
The Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) identified a group of cyber attackers who manipulated a zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2023-35078) in Ivanti’s Endpoint Manager Mobile (EPMM) solution. It was formerly known as MobileIron Core. They effectively accessed a software platform the 12 Norwegian government ministries use.
NSM is a Norwegian security agency founded on January 1, 2003. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, it succeeded Forsvarets sikkerhetsstab. It safeguards Norway’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political freedom of action, and territorial integrity. It utilises a vast set of diplomatic, political, economic, and international legal instruments to achieve its goals.
The Norwegian Security and Service Organization (DSS) confirmed that the recent cyber attack didn’t affect other ministries. It includes Norway’s Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Defense.
Meanwhile, cyberattack issues continue to rise between the United States and Russia. Putin’s administration accuses the White House of plotting cyberattacks on their vital infrastructure. The allegations came during an intensified cyber attack between the two countries.
What Experts Say About the Cyber-Attacking Incident?
Here’s what some of the experts say regarding the incident:
“There have been a number of significant cyberattacks on Norwegian businesses and government entities over the past few years. In 2021, the Norwegian Parliament’s email systems were attacked by groups with ties to China. In 2022, a pro-Russian hacker group known as Killnet launched a denial of service (DDoS) attack against Norwegian public service websites. Later in 2022, the Norwegian PM publicly named the threat posed by Russian to Norway’s government and energy sector in particular, due to Norway’s military and humanitarian assistance in Ukraine,” said Elliott Wilkes, chief technology officer at Advanced Cyber Defence Systems.
According to Nadir Izrael, CTO and co-founder of Armis, attacks on government agencies around the world are getting more common and continuous. It’s because of the prevalent disruption and surging effects possibly due to these attacks on significant infrastructure and society, if successful. Moreover, geopolitical tensions only intensify these threats to agencies. Attackers and hackers prove that cyber warfare is a streamlined strategy for disorganizing people’s daily lives.
Erik Hope said they located a weakness in the platform of one of their suppliers which was now shut. He is the head of the government agency in charge of providing services to ministries.
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