Danes see Russia as a 'leader' with 'advanced capabilities'

AP News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2017 5:35 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark's cybersecurity agency sees Russia as "a leader" when it comes to hacking, saying that the country has for "a long time invested intensively in its cyber capabilities."

The Danish position is similar to that reached by others in the Nordic region where national security agencies recently have pointed fingers at Russia for illicit online activities.

In its 2017 security assessment, Denmark's Center for Cyber Security said in a report released late Wednesday that Russia "has advanced capabilities to perform extensive cyber espionage against political and military targets in the West." In its report, the agency gauged the cyber spying against Danish authorities and companies as "very high," adding it mainly comes from foreign governments. It didn't name any.

Thomas Lund-Soerensen, head of the agency that is part of Denmark's foreign intelligence service, says of the overall cyber threat that "we can't emphasize enough how serious this threat is."

He added Wednesday that hackers "are extremely adaptable and continue to be better at hiding their malicious activities and their identity."

Norway's security service said Feb. 3 that nine personal civil servant email accounts in the Scandinavian country had been targeted by "spear-phishing" attacks that the PST agency believed was be associated with Russian intelligence. The service added that no classified information has been taken.

These attacks involve emails that appear to be from known individuals or businesses. Once opened, hackers can launch malicious software onto a recipient's computer network.

On Wednesday, Estonia said it had teamed up with the U.S. Secret Service ahead of its first European Union presidency to train local officials to handle cyber threats — the greatest of which comes from Russia. The Baltic nation's foreign intelligence service said that Russia was the greatest threat because Estonia is a member of both the EU and NATO.