Norwegian Parliament Hit by Email Hack

Norwegian Parliament

Against email hackers, no one should really consider themselves 100% “safe”. This is a lesson several Norwegian Parliament employees and parliament members learned the hard way after the Stortinget suffered an email cyber attack in late August.

That several Parliament email accounts at the stortinget.no address were hacked confirmed the Parliament’s President Tone Wilhemsen Trøen, who said that the attacks were reported to the police and the investigation was underway.

The administrative representative of the Norwegian Parliament, Marienne Andreassen issued a more lengthy press release shortly after it was discovered that email accounts were hacked.

In it, she stated:

“We are viewing this as extremely serious. Our analysis shows that various amounts of data had been downloaded from the email accounts. Our full attention is directed on analyzing the situation and getting a full picture of the incident and the extent of potential damage.

Andreassen did not want to comment on what type of content had been downloaded by the brute-force email hackers, as well as who the hackers targeted, or who the hackers were.

She stated that the security at the Norwegian Parliament “was good”.

She also said that the Stortinget staff launched “a series of risk-reduction measures to stop the attacks”. These seem to have helped.

Talking to the reporters, Andreassen also stated that “irregularities have been detected last week and we took immediate contact with the data security authorities”, but wouldn’t go into exact details as to what these “irregularities” actually are or how the staff detected them.

The communications chief for the Norwegian Labour Party Jarle Roheim Håkonsen also confirmed that the Parliament had been hit by an email hack, but added that he wasn’t aware of any sensitive information being stolen, or how many people were affected in the first place.

Finally, the PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste), Norway’s police intelligence agency, was made aware of the attack and the Nasjonal sikkerhetsmyndighet, Norway’s security authority got involved in consequent efforts to improve the Parliament’s security.