NBI launches probe into attack on Finnish Parliament site

Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has launched a probe into a denial of service attack, which allegedly originated from Russia.

The cyber-attack crashed the Finnish Parliament website earlier this week.

A Russian hacker group calling itself NoName057(16) claimed on its Telegram channel to be behind the attack. “We decided to make a ‘friendly’ visit to neighbouring Finland, whose authorities are so eager to join NATO,” the group said.

The denial of service attack started on Tuesday around 14:30. By 10 pm, the website was back to normal. Parliament said it is working with the National Cyber Security Centre and service providers in order to restore the website.

The same Russian hacker group has also allegedly carried out cyberattacks on state institutions in Poland, Lithuania and Norway.

The NBI said it had launched an investigation into the interference. The agency said the attack originated from dozens of IP addresses scattered around the world, without providing more detail.

Last month, Finnish news agency STT said it took some of its systems offline briefly following a malicious attack.

Panu Tuunala, STT’s managing editor, said at the time that the agency has been upping its preparedness to deal with potential cyber-attacks.

“Over the past six months we have become increasingly aware of the fact that we may be targeted. We’ve taken note of attacks on agencies like ours throughout Europe. In that sense this was expected,” he said.

Tuunala added that it was still unclear who was responsible for the attack and whether hackers stole any data.

Finnish authorities have been warning of an increased risk of cyber-attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

In May, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom warned that Finland’s NATO membership application could increase cybersecurity threats from Russia. This warning came after the websites of Finland’s defence and foreign affairs ministries were hit by denial of service attacks in April, coinciding with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the Finnish Parliament.