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Norway blames Russia for cyber attack

Norway has blamed Russia for the cyber attack it suffered on the email system in the Norwegian Parliament in August.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide has said that, based on the information available to the government, it is the government’s assessment ‘that Russia stood behind this activity’. She labelled the attack as a serious incident affecting the country's ‘most important democratic institution’.

Soreide said in a statement that Norway's security and intelligence services were ‘co-operating closely to deal with this matter at the national level’.

Russia's embassy in Oslo hit back at the ‘unacceptable’ announcement, saying no evidence had been presented. Moscow has also rejected the claim, calling it a ‘serious and wilful provocation’.

In September, Norwegian authorities said that email accounts belonging to several officials had been compromised during a cyber attack, and some information had been downloaded. However, the full extent of damage caused by the hack has not been made public.

In a report from earlier this year, Norway's military intelligence agency warned that Russia was trying to fuel discord in the country through so-called influence operations, aimed at weakening public trust in the government, election processes and the media. Tensions between the countries has also seen a Russian diplomat expelled from Norway on suspicion of spying, a Norwegian diplomat expelled from Russia in retaliation and the arrest of a Russian national in 2018 who was suspected of gathering information on the Norway’s Parliamentary network.

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