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Angry Norway says Russia jamming GPS signals again

Norway's foreign intelligence unit on Monday expressed renewed concerns that its GPS signals in the country's Far North were being jammed, as Oslo again blamed Russia for the "unacceptable" acts.

Angry Norway says Russia jamming GPS signals again
Photo: AFP

In its annual national risk assessment report, the intelligence service said that in repeated incidents since 2017, GPS signals have been blocked from Russian territory in Norwegian regions near the border with Russia.

The jamming events have often coincided with military exercises on Norwegian soil, such as the NATO Trident Juncture manoeuvres last autumn and the mid-January deployment of British attack helicopters in Norway for training in Arctic conditions.

“This is not only a new challenge for Norwegian and Allied training operations,” the head of the intelligence unit, Morten Haga Lunde, said as he presented the report.

“Jamming is also a threat to, among others, civilian air traffic and police and health operations in peacetime.”

Norway has on several occasions raised the issue with Russian authorities, and is cooperating with other Nordic countries to gather as much information as possible, Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen said.

“It's important… to say clearly that this is unacceptable,” he told television channel TV2 Nyhetskanalen.

In November, neighbouring Finland summoned Russia's ambassador to Helsinki to answer to accusations that Moscow had disrupted geopositioning signals on its territory during the Trident Juncture exercises.

Moscow has rejected the allegations as baseless.

RUSSIA

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament

Norway's government on Tuesday said that it believes Russia was behind an August cyber attack targeting the email system of the country's parliament.

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament
The parliament building in Oslo. File photo: AFP

The attack was detected in August, when Norway announced hackers had attacked the parliament's email system, gaining access to some lawmakers' messages.

“Based on the information the government has, it is our view that Russia is responsible for these activities,” foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in a statement.

The foreign ministry did not specify what information prompted its conclusions, but encouraged companies to follow guidelines on cyber security.

“This is a very serious incident, affecting our most important democratic institution,” she added.

In its annual threat assessment published in February, Norway's PST domestic intelligence service warned of “computer network operations” which they said represented a “persistent and long-term threat to Norway”.

In 2018, NATO member Norway arrested a Russian national suspected of gathering information on the parliament's internet network, but released him several weeks later due to lack of evidence.

The two countries, which share a common border in the Arctic, have generally enjoyed good relations but those have become strained since Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

READ ALSO: Norway's parliament attacked by hackers

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