August 14, 2022

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Gjensidige and many companies affected

Gjensidige and many companies affected

Gjensidige’s website was down on Tuesday. Russian networks are taking over again. They claim that they also hit new companies.

Russian hacker networks claim to be behind the fact that several Norwegian websites have been down for periods of Monday and Tuesday.

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“Hello friends. We start our day by removing the website of the Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige, which also includes Gjensidige Bank ».

This message was posted on the Telegram channel of the Russian network “NoName057” on Tuesday at 11.14.

Pro-Russian hackers continue their work denial of serviceA denial of service attack, also called a DDoS attack, involves someone using a network of computers to send large amounts of traffic to a website. Finally, the site kneeled. against norwegian sites. There are attacks that kill web pages for a while.

On Monday, the National Security Agency (NSM) itself, the authority that monitors computer attacks against Norway, was affected, among other things. On Tuesday, Gjensidige came out for the first time.

– It is true that our pages were down for a quarter of an hour. Gjensidige’s director of communications, Austin Thoresen, told Aftenposten that it was a denial of service attack.

The NSM assures Aftenposten that there will also be a denial of service attack on Norwegian businesses on Tuesday. However, the number of businesses under attack now is lower than in recent days.

Cargo and taxi companies affected the boat

Russian hobby hackers may seem to think that the websites of various Norwegian boat and ferry companies are of social significance to Norway.

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On Monday, the websites of the ferry companies Bastø Fosen and Boreal were down for some time.

At 12.45 on Tuesday, the Russian network of hackers published a new message that they are continuing their “exciting journey through Norway”.

It was Rødne Fjord Cruise who was allowed to escape. The website was down a bit before 13.00. Less than an hour later, it was turned on again.

One of the Rødne Shipping Company’s cruise boats in Bergen.

At 13.40 another message arrived: The Grimstad taxi boat website was down.

At 13.56 hours, it was alleged that one of the websites of the Royal Caribbean Group shipping company was down for a short period.

Expert: harmless but annoying

No real data breaches have been reported so far after last week’s attacks. But down websites can be inconvenient – for example for a Fjord cruise company being hit in the middle of the tourist season.

Mas Soldal Lund, professor of cybersecurity at Inlandit University College, compares Russian hacker networks to the most famous anonymous hacker group and the so-called Ukrainian IT Army.

– They are a political hacker group. And this is a response to the Ukrainian IT Army, which attacked Russia and supports Ukraine. They do the same thing, but in the opposite direction, he says.

These attacks are completely harmless, says Soldal Lund, although they can be annoying.

– You can often disable services for a few hours, but not more than that. And you do not destroy systems. The attacks are most likely caused by Norway’s support for Ukraine, but if this is the price we have to pay to show solidarity with Ukraine, it is a small price, he points out.

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At the same time, he stresses, it is important to have IT systems that can handle a lot of traffic, and can handle this type of attack.

If you have weak systems, it is possible to keep systems out of operation for a long time, he says.

politically justified

The Russians are likely to hit Norway as a result of Norway’s participation in sanctions after the war in Ukraine.

It is reported that Norway stopped Russian transport via Storskog and prohibited transport to the Russian settlements in Svalbard in particular. It was also announced on Tuesday that Russia would review the demarcation line agreement with Norway in the Barents Sea. This is also a topic in the comment fields on Telegram.

But Norway is not alone.

On June 22, Lithuania halted transportation to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. This was cited as a reason why Lithuania suffered a series of attacks by Russian hackers in the past week.