Norway army says faced cyber attack after Libya bombing

Posted at 05/19/2011 11:06 PM | Updated as of 05/19/2011 11:06 PM

OSLO, Norway - The Norwegian military said Thursday it had been the victim of a serious cyber attack at the end of March, a day after Norwegian F-16 fighter jets for the first time carried out bombings in Libya.

"The army is regularly the target of cyber and virus attacks, but not as exstensive as this," Hilde Lindboe, a spokeswoman for Norwegian Defence Information Infrastructure (INI), told AFP.

On March 25, a day after Norwgian F-16s first took part in the NATO-led bombing in Libya, around 100 military employees, some of them high-ranking, received an email in Norwegian with an attachment that, once opened, let loose a virus made to extract information from the host computer.

"From what we have seen, no sensitive information has been obtained," Lindboe said.

According to INI, only one computer containing non-classified information was contaminated.

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has opened an investigation to determine who launched the attack, but authorities say it is too soon to say whether there was a link to the Libya bombings.

Norway has six F-16s stationed on the Greek island of Crete as part of the NATO campaign against leader Moammar Gaddafi's forces, authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan population.

The Scandinavian country has however said it plans to curb its military role in Libya if the campaign lasts longer than June 24.