The Norwegian Intelligence Service's Morten Haga Lunde. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
While much of the NIS report – like that of the threat assessment released by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) earlier this month – focused on the dangers posed by Russian spies, it also revealed that China has stolen information from Norwegian weapons companies.
See also: Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST
“We believe that they [China, ed.] have succeeded in extracting information that they are using in their own weapons technology,” NIS head Morten Haga Lunde told TV2.
The NIS report calls Russia and China “the most active players behind network-based intelligence operations aimed at Norway” and said that both nations “have high competencies and show a high degree of assertiveness in their approach to Norwegian goals”.
Lunde told TV2 that China is targeting Norwegian companies as part of a global strategy to obtain valuable technological information.
“First and foremost as we say in the report, we can see that China is inside and operating within Norwegian networks to obtain information that it can use in its own technological development,” he said.
Lunde stressed that Chinese espionage wasn’t only aimed at Norway but is a “global challenge”.
Norway’s southern neighbour Denmark saw its domestic defence industry successfully hacked for years by a foreign operator, widely believed to be China. Between 2008 and 2012, an advanced cyber attack was carried out on the IT systems of at least five Danish defence companies, including it’s largest weapons company.