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Swedish addresses linked to global cyber attack

Published onsdag 5 april kl 16.12
MSB cyber chief: This is just the tip of the iceberg.
(2:41 min)
A woman surveys screens at the MSB's Stockholm office.
A woman surveys screens at the MSB's Stockholm office. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

A hacker group, with suspected Chinese backing, has used Swedish computers to help carry out a global cyber-spying attack.

The attack, which has been dubbed Cloud Hopper, is described in a new report from the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), as "one of the largest ever sustained global cyber espionage campaigns".

The hacker gang, named APT10, targetted outsourced IT service companies to steal data from military, scientific, and other companies. 

"It is not yet known how many Swedish authorities and organisations have been affected, nor to what extent they have been hit," Sweden's Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) said in a press release.

"But it is known that Swedish IP addresses have been used to coordinate the intrusion, and also to collect stolen data."

Rolf Rosenvinge, partner in PwC's Cyber Security department, said that the attack showed all the hallmarks of state backing.

"There are indications that this is state-supported and that there is a national state behind it," he told TT newswires. "It is an extremely intelligent attack method and it is extremely obvious how knowledgeable and professional those responsible for this work are."

The hackers broke into peoples' computers by sending them emails containing trustworthy looking documents which contained code which was transferred onto people's computers.

Swedish home minister Anders Ygeman said he had been informed of the intrusions.

"The government is informed and has a running dialogue with the reasponsible agencies," he said. "these are working together with one annd other to suport the affected actors."

Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of the opposition Moderate party, called for more resources for countering cyberespionage.

"I am taking this very seriously," she said. "At the same time as the armed forces are strengthened, we have also called for more resources for MSB to strenthen their work with data security."

APT10 primarily targetted the USA, Taiwan och Japan, but also attacked companies in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, France and Switzerland.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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