The Norwegian Police Intelligence Service (PST) said on Thursday that it was the cyber espionage group APT 31 that two and a half years ago was behind a comprehensive hacker attack on the state administration in Norway.
According to Norwegian media NRK, Head of the department from PTS Hanne Blomberg said, “In the specific case, we have intelligence information, which points in a clear direction that it is APT 31, which was behind the operation against the state administration’s offices.”
“Exactly APT 31 is an actor that we associate with the Chinese intelligence service,” she added.
APT 31 has previously been behind hacker attacks in Norway, Finland, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. The hacker attack in 2018 was aimed at regional administrations in Norway. The first area to be affected was Aust- and West-Agder. From there, it moved on to the Oslo area before computer systems across the country were hit. PTS took the attack extremely seriously and investigated it as espionage to steal state secrets.
A report from the Defense Research Institute (FFI) has determined that 1.2 gigabytes of data were fished out during the hacker attack and among other things, usernames and passwords from employees in the region were stolen.
PTS is however ending their investigation and dropping the case due to the position of the evidence. This is because there is not enough accurate information that can lead to aftermath in a court of law.