News from Finland in English

Finnish Security Intelligence Service warns businesses about cyber attacks

Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) told that there were a number of cyber attacks against Finnish businesses in 2017. Many of these attacks were sponsored by Nation States, with the intention to acquire information on critical infrastructure as well as results R&D efforts.

Cyber intelligence is a serious threat to the finnish knowledge capital. If research results are acquired and transfered to another country, a company may lose it's future. According to SUPO it's gotten increasingly difficult to defend against threats as companies have outsourced data management to cloud services.

In addition to the management of information being more difficult than before, the organization is also limited by legislation. With limited access to data networks it is difficult for SUPO to detect cyberespionage. Currently there is an ongoing process to change the intelligence law that would improve the capability of the state.

Finland is widely considered to be in a good shape when considered networking and information security. The country has a healthy private network of companies like F-Secure, Forcepoint, Nixu and SSH operating in the country. In addition the state is investing in cyber security in various, ways including a special police unit:

The Cybercrime Center focuses on preventing and investigating crimes against IT and networking services, as well as crimes that have taken advantage of these.
- Finnish police recruiting white hat hackers for NBI to combat cybercrime

The Finnish Communications Regulation Authority (FICORA) is also promoting awareness of cyber security. The organisation has started publishing "Cyberweather reports" in January 2018. The reports provide readers with a condensed package of cybersecurity news.

Clear skies in real life, but murky in the cyberspace

For February 2018 the Cyberweather report from FICORA showed that there were plenty of denial of service attacks, network outages, malware and various scams in Finland. Setting up DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks for example, is no longer a major task.

Cyberweather February 2018

DoS attacks can be bought online for as 19,90€ and are simple to use. This kind of attacks are used by players of online games who want to prevent some opponents from accessing matches. Another extreme are organised crime gangs that sell services to disrupt businesses or government organizations.

The "weather report" is split into six category topics: Denial of Service attacks, Malware and vulnerabilities, Scams and Phishing, Spying and intelligence, Network operations, Internet of Things (IoT). DoS attacks are most common form, because they are simple and effective.

In the last few years online services of organizations like Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), Iltalehti tabloid, the Police, and the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA) have faced network attacks. In addition power plants, banks, credit card companies and other critical infrastructure in Finland and all across the world need to be constantly alert for abuse.

Some years back an attack on building automation cut heating in apartment buildings in the winter, and earlier this week a Bitcoin mining malware interrupted healthcare in the city of Lahti. These are some practical examples of how the growing reliance on networked technology makes the society vulnerable to new types of threats against the society.


Written by Janita on Wednesday March 21, 2018
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