On 10 March this year, the supreme legislature of Norway (Storting) announced data breaches in its email systems. Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs now says that China was behind the major hacker attack that was performed by exploiting security holes in the Microsoft Exchange email server, NRK reports. China questions whether this is political manipulation and calls for proof.
In a recent press release on the matter Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said, “Several of our allies, the EU and Microsoft have also confirmed this. Chinese authorities must prevent such attacks from taking place so that similar incidents do not happen again.”
To NRK, Ine Eriksen Søreide says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made an assessment through the intelligence information they have and she calls the action serious. “All cyber operations leave different forms of traces, and then it is, among other things, our security services that make assessments of and compile that information. And based on this information, the government has made an assessment that the attack originates from China,” she explains.
“That such malicious cyber-activity is allowed to take place is not in line with the norms for responsible state behavior in the digital space that all UN member states have agreed to. We have summoned the Chinese embassy and taken up the matter directly,” the foreign minister said.
In a statement to NRK, the Chinese embassy says that “there is reason to question whether this is political manipulation”. “We hope Norway can provide facts and evidence to find out the truth, ” the embassy writes in the statement. Furthermore, the embassy writes that China is a defender of cybersecurity and has worked against this type of behavior.
According to international news agencies, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said China “strongly opposes cyber-attacks and cyber-theft in all its forms.”
The spokesman warns at the same time and says that blaming someone for cyber attacks must be based on evidence, not “baseless accusations”.
The Norwegian Police Intelligence Service (PST) informs NRK that their investigation of the IT attack is still ongoing. Beyond that, they do not want to comment on the current statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Norway is not the only country that has today accused China of computer attacks. The EU, the United Kingdom, the United States, and NATO have also pointed at China, NRK reports.
According to the news agencies Reuters and AFP, the condemnations come from Norway, the EU, Great Britain, NATO, and several other countries of China as a joint advance coordinated by the USA.
Read the full article with more on the matter here