Tag Archives: Nobel Peace Prize

Cyber Attack Against Norwegian Military, Massive and Targeted

On March 25 this year a massive and targeted cyber attack was launched against the Norwegian Military Forces – Forsvaret – according several Norwegian news sources. It is being described as one of the most serious so far. Local experts fear more attacks, capable of paralyzing the entire Norwegian economy.

It is likely that important computer systems are infected, and that information has been lost.

National Security Authority

On March 25, hundreds of emails was sent to high-ranking officers in the Norwegian military – Forsvaret. The message was disguised as a regular message from the public directorate, written in perfect Norwegian, with an innocent looking file attached. One person opened the file – and the fight was on.

According to the military spokespersons, the computer where the infected file was activated did not contain any classified information. The attack was discovered and stopped before any sensitive or confidetial information was stolen.

But some data was stolen. It is still unknown how much, and what, information that has been stolen, says Major Ivar Kjaerem at the Military Center for Protection of Critical Information, according the newspaper VG.

And I presume its gonna stay that way…

Cyber attack against Norway have become more like an online game, specially  after last years Peace Prize award.
The Norwegian oil installations in the North Sea was also among the first to detect infections by the Stuxnet worm.

But this one is almost as special as the Stuxnet.

First of all: It seems to have been very well planned, organized and executed. Almost with a military precision.

Secondly: The attackers did already posess detailed information about the Norwegian military as they were able to target between 200 and 300 high-ranking and influential officers.

And third: I happens the day after Norwegian Air Forces has their first raid over Libya.

When it comes to the last point, no one can say for sure if there is any  connection or not.

However, the incident has surely scared the Norwegian military who characterize it as one of the most serious cyber attacks so far.

And the military spokesman seem to suddenly have realized that we ain’t seen nothing, yet.

I belive it is some kind of recognition mission, an attempt to map our systems and possible vulnerabilities, Major Kjaerem says, indicating the expectation of new attacks.

And, of course, the military spokesman underline that they managed to stop this one, and the possibility of anyone penetration the Norwegian military’s security system is very low.

Here’s come the part when I have trouble not laughing…

So, they managed to stop the attack? Our brave soliders? Well, this is what really happened:

The email was received on a Friday afternoon. But some hyperactive warlord decided to pop by the office on Saturday, just to check if we’ve had hit Gaddafi and check the mail and stuff, You know.

What happens next is described by the newspaper VG as follows:

The sender, who was named in the email, did not exist, and it was the aware  receiver who raised the alarm because it was something else attached to the email than the annual report from the Directorate. The attachment behaved strangely, and the person became suspicions.

Well done! boys and girls.

Quite frankly, I’m speechless…

Anyway – last year the Norwegian National Security Authority warned against the threats from cyberspace in their recent 2010 report.

The report states:

It is likely that important computer systems are infected, and that information has been lost.

We we regard it as a very serious matter when the Norwegian military gets attacked like this, says spokesman Kjetil Veire with the National Security Authority.

Adding: When it comes to infected computers, we fear there is a large dark zone. What we have seen here might just be the tip of an iceberg.

No kidding!

But finally security expert at the company Steria, Stein Moellerstad, put the closet in the right corner:

The number of attacks against the Norwegian military will increase. And they can cause more serious damage because the flow of information through the internet has become so huge that both the military and the rest of the public administration has partly lost control.

According to the National Security Authority 2010 report, are cyber attacks capable of paralyzing the entire Norwegian economy in a worst case scenario.

So, now the speculations about who might be behind this are running totally wild.

Local experts say that only about 10 nations in world is capable of launching an attack as this.

That’s bullshit.

Anyone with above average computer skills with a coup;e of buddies to help with the actual launch could do this.

The suspects are millions.

In my mind the most interesting question is: Why Norway?

I mean, we haven’t got much oil left, we’ve sold it all. The same goes for the technology. In other words – not much to spy on.

I assume the NATO material is under a special NATO security facility.

And our famous Oil Fund? Well, we impulsively bought Greek debt for about one billion USD. Perhaps we shouldn’t, but that Greek prime minister look so nice.

The rest is probably gone in a few years anyway as the government will have to pay for all its promises, specially within the health care sector.

It means we don’t have that much money, either.

In fact, I can only see one logical reason to Norway being targeted in this scale:

It’s just too damn easy!

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, Laws and Regulations, National Economic Politics, Technology

Norwegian MP Nominate Wikileaks for Nobel Peace Prize

Norwegian Member of Parliament, Snorre Valen, have officially nominated Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Valen compare Mr. Julian Assang with the recipient in 2010, the Chinese freedom fighter Liu Xiaobo.

“This way, the public has become aware of abuses of power that governments should be held accountable for.”

Snorre Valen

The Norwegian politician writes on his blog that he has nominated  Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace, referring to the controvercial site’s contribution to “democracy and freedom” around the world.

Nominations for the price of peace closed on Tuesday.

According to the website of the Prize, any beneficiary legislator, academic or award in the world can nominate anyone for the price, .

Member of the Norwegian Storting – parliament – Snorre Valen writes that Wikileaks has contributed to “draw a map of the freedom of information.”

Publishing material that is deemed classified by the government is an obvious right that newspapers and media have practiced for many, many decades. This way, the public has become aware of abuses of power that governments should be held accountable for. The internet doesn’t change this – it merely makes information more accessible, easier to distribute, and more democratic in the sense that virtually anyone with an internet connection can contribute.

Wikileaks is a site that publishes documents concerning its business and neglect of the government. Critics have accused of endangering national security, while the defenders have said that protect whistleblowers.

Political powers and institutions that ordinarily protect freedom of speech suddenly warn against the danger, the threat to security, yes even the “terrorism” that Wikileaks represent. In doing so, they fail in upholding democratic values and human rights. In fact, they contribute to the opposite. It is not, and should never be, the privileged of politicians to regulate which crimes the public should never be told about, and through which media those crimes become known.

The site has published numerous secret documents, including the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Military officials have criticized the publication of documents. US  Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he was “appalled” by the release schedule of war in Afghanistan last year.

It would be a crime to ban or oppose the right to publish such information. It should instead be protected, regardless of what we might think of the contents of some (or even all) of the published material. I am proud to nominate Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Xiabao Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, fought for human rights, democracy and freedom of expression in China,” Valen write on his blog.

“Similarly, Wikileaks took part in the battle those same values throughout the world, exposing (among many other things), corruption, war crimes and torture.”

Liu Xiabao was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech in China. Likewise: Wikileaks have contributed to the struggle for those very values globally, by exposing (among many other things) corruption, war crimes and torture – some times even conducted by allies of Norway.

Here’s the full statement: Why I have nominated Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace Prize

I don’t think most of my readers know who Snorre Valen is, so I’ll give you a few hints.

He belongs to the left side of the political spectrum, representing Sosialistisk Venstreparti, SV.

His political opponents at the website dokument.no describes him like this:

Valen represent the happy-go-lucky-anarchism that characterizes the Left today. Anything goes.

Hammers on:

Valen believes the right to disclose is a human right. .. To say that Wikileaks massive revelations is a human right, will make the concept meaningless.

And concludes:Valen is a representative of the desert generation who have never had to worry about consequences.

Speaking about consequences, if the Norwegian Peace Prize Committee should dare to be to be that provocative and give the award to Mr. Assange, the furious reactions from the Chinese government when  Xiabao Liu got the prize can easily become peanuts compared to the what can be executed by the United States of America.

Personally, I think it’s an interesting thought…

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Filed under Laws and Regulations, Philosophy

Hackers Attact Norway's Peace Prize Institute

About 300 private individuals, companies and organizations may be the victims of computer espionage after visiting the  webpages of the Nobel Committee and the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, on October 26 and 27. The visitors got spyware installed that gave outsiders full access to their computers. This week, the Nobel Institute reported the attack to the local police in Oslo.

“It can be anything from the fact that someone wants to give China a bad reputation to the Chinese themselves.”

Frank Trail

The espionage via the Nobel Institute have been going on for a much longer period, and is much more extensive than previously known. the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten writes on their website. According to the National Security Agency it took eleven days from the site was hacked to the highly sophisticated break-in was discovered.

The cyber attack was discovered by Telenor Security Operation Center (TSOC) on October 25 after several customers of the telecom company had reported hacker attacks.

TSOC then notified the National Security Agency and the Nobel Institute.

“It is hardly economic motives behind this attack, and the people behind it obviously has a lot of money. To carry out such an attack, they have to exploit a weakness in software only available on the illicit market, and used it against the Norwegian Nobel Institute. This is a very expensive methods and could be used for other types of economic cyber crimes  – instead of attacking Nobel Institute,” head of TSOC, Frank Trail. says.

All traces end up in a computer at a university in Taiwan that anyone has access to. This computer was the command center that controlled the attack, and a huge bulk of information was downloaded.

However, it’s practically impossible to find out who controlled the public computer in Taiwan.

“It can be anyone; from someone who wants to give China a bad reputation, to the Chinese themselves. We now have extra focus on this to see if the attacks repeats itself towards peace prize ceremony and the Nobel Prize Concert.”

Mission Impossible

“Between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, I estimate that we may have had up to 300 visitors using Firefox browser version  3.5 and 3.16,” librarian and IT Manager Bjørn H. Vang at the Nobel Institute says.

“We have no way to track who they are. What is most regrettable about the matter, is that people who have visited our website may have been harmed,” Vang adds.

Both the National Security Agency of Norway and the national criminal police are now investigating the data logs at the Nobel Institute.

“Internal Affairs has already made several technical studies. These are very complicated matters, especially if we end up in a server abroad. If it leads us to other countries, it will require a lot of resources and we’ll have to  ask whether or NCIS Økokrim (The National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) will take over the case. Even if we find out who is behind, so there are not many countries who are willing to disclose this information,” police chief, and head of the finance and corruption group, in Oslo, Rune Skjol, says.

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Filed under International Econnomic Politics, National Economic Politics, Philosophy, Technology