Norwegian military officials said they were targeted in a serious computer attack that struck in late March, one day after the country's F-16 fighter jets participated in bombings on Libya, according to published news reports. On March 25, about 100 military employees received an email in Norwegian that included an attachment …
About 100 military employees receive an email with a Windows trojan attached, and this qualifies as a serious computer attack?
It's not the % that's the issue
100% of everyone who uses email receives email with trojan Windows malware attachments. How is that a "serious computer attack"?
Not that many of us
There is about 4.5 million people on this planet that speak Norwegian. I do not think I have ever seen a spam message, a scam or anything like that written in good Norwegian. So when you get a hundred e-mails sent in Norwegian to, and only to, specific individuals in the armed forces then it is a targeted attack at least. The seriousness of it can of course be debated, but I would be inclined to call it a serious attack if nothing else just to separate it from the run of the mill attack.
In that case...
...I've had 4 "serious attacks" today, and I've just started my second coffee.
Given that the emails were in good Norwegian and the addresses seem to have been researched, I'll grant you targeted. But serious? Really? Dosed emails? Everyone with net access has had at least 10 years to practice how to deal with them safely. The fact that one computer was compromised would be a source of embarrassment to my kids; let alone a military organisation.
Any military that runs Windows on its computers deserves all it gets.
Oh do shut up, there's a good chap.
Dos 4.0 for all
An email attachment that wasn't what it looked like?
Given that it's the Norwegians, I guess that makes it a Fjordulant email...
I'll get my coat.
Do you smell anything?
Check your coat pockets for flatfish.
The Norwegian Special Forces have a history of using them when dealing with jokers.
(Just ask the GSG9 about 'bomb proof car, AC and flatfish')
Norwegian too good
The Norwegians now believe that the attack was planned well ahead of the Libyan attack since the written Norwegian used is just too good. Very few people brought up outside the country can write grammatically correct Norwegian of more than a few sentences at at time.
Also since the Norwegian Nobel committee awarded the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Peace Prize, there have been consistent cyber attacks on Norwegian government institutions, as well as a lot of snubbing of Norwegian interests by the Chinese government, who clearly threw their rattle out of the pram.
My money would be on the Chinese.
Perceptive, Sherlock !
That the Nobel Peace (sic!) Prize for 2010 would be awarded to Liu Xiaobo was announced on 8 October 2010. How clever of those dastardly Chinese, responsible as they are for all the world's evil, to use the five months between this announcement and the Norwegian bombing of Libya, to polish their Norwegian (bokmål, I presume) and in full knowledge of what would happen, wait for these bombings before releasing the trojan, so that the blame would placed on the Libyans ! According to the Norwegian Statistisk sentralbyrå, the population of Norway on 1 April 2011 was 4937000. It is, of course,impossible to imagine that one or two Norwegians fluent in one of the two written languages used in the country might have wished to protest against those unprovoked (to the best of my knowledge and belief, the Libyan government has not attacked Norway) military attacks by sending a message with an infected attachment to some 100 employees of the Norwegian military. No, no, let us rather blame the current bête noire, the Chinese ! Mit Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens....
EXE on email
Why were the Norwegian Military computers even allowed to received emails with executable content? Surely emails like that shouldn't even get passed their email gateway never mind to end users mail client.
Not necessarily .EXE
Thanks to Microsoft and Adobe any MS-Office file with embedded flash would do just nice.
Re: EXE on email
To be fair, all we know is that one computer was infected, and it didn't contain anything important. For what we know, the computer was simply one not required to be completely secure on account of not being allowed to store any important data, and all computers that actually contain important data are properly secured. That would be a fairly reasonable setup, and an attack against such a setup would have exactly the results we're seeing. I mean, you don't really need the general's daughter's laptop to have military-grade security, even if she does exchange emails with daddy.
S'pose it's relative, I don't recall being on the sharp end of six F-16s being described as a "serious" attack in the press.
Ask Gadhaffi about serious attacks...
Those six, and the six from the Danish airforce is doing most of the 'technically challenging' bombing missions.(Flattening his palaces, chasing down tanks that's actually moving, not parked in a scrapyard... )
In fact, the planes fly about 20Hours/day, which leaves them barely enough time to refuel, rearm and service.
This must be this "asymmetric warfare" that I have heard so much about.
We bomb you with F16s, you annoy us a bit with a shonky spam run.
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