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Hacker attack downs DNB’s online bank

A hacker attack on Monday morning prevented many customers of Norwegian bank DNB from accessing their accounts online.

The partly state-owned bank and the website of the national lottery, Norsk Tipping, both fell victim to denial of service attacks, continuing a trend that has hit a number of Norwegian sites in recent weeks.

By flooding the sites with data, the denial of service attacks overpowered the companies’ servers, resulting in error messages for customers.

“Our IT people and experts from [IT services firm] Evry have sat down together and found the reason DNB.no was down this morning,” said DNB spokesman Thomas Midteide.

“It was blamed on a so-called denial of service attack. Putting it in layman’s terms, this means our servers were bombed with requests, clogging everything up. Norsk Tipping has been exposed to the same thing.”

Midteide said the bank’s servers were back up and running at 11am.

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HACKING

Norway accuses Russian hackers of parliament attack

Norway's domestic spy agency on Tuesday blamed a Russian hacker group linked to Moscow's military intelligence for a cyberattack on the Norwegian parliament earlier this year.

Norway accuses Russian hackers of parliament attack
Norway's parliament in 2013. Photo: Mike McBride/Flickr

The Norwegian intelligence agency (PST) said the likely perpetrators were the Fancy Bear collective — a group regularly accused of attacks including on the US election — but there was not enough evidence to pursue charges.

A “vast” cyberattack on August 24th gained access to the emails of some MPs and parliamentary employees, officials announced at the time, without speculating on the identity of the attackers.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide later accused Russia of being behind the attack, and PST investigators have now strengthened her claims.

“The investigation shows that the network operation which the Storting (Norwegian parliament) was subjected to was part of a broader national and international campaign that has been going on since at least 2019,” PST said in a statement.

“Analyses show that it is likely that the operation was led by a cyber actor … known as APT28 or Fancy Bear. This actor has ties to GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.”

Using a method known as a “brute force attack”, where multiple passwords and usernames are submitted with the hope of eventually getting the right combination, the hackers were able to download “sensitive” information, PST said.

“The investigation has however not yielded enough elements to bring charges,” it said in a statement.

Russia's embassy in Norway has yet to comment on the PST findings, but in October it lambasted Eriksen Søreide's accusation as “unacceptable”.

“We consider this a serious and wilful provocation, destructive for bilateral relations,” the embassy said on its Facebook page at the time.

While relations are generally good between NATO member Norway and Russia, who share a border in the Far North, several espionage cases on both sides have soured relations in recent years.

Norway's intelligence agency regularly singles out Russia as one of the country's main espionage threats alongside Iran and China.

READ ALSO: Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament

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