Danish Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen has claimed that a group of Russian hackers gained unauthorized access to emails of some of the department’s employees in 2015-2016.

“These were not actions of a small group of hackers, who were doing this purely of interest. Those people have ties to intelligence or senior members of the Russian government,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Berlingske newspaper.

The paper blames the alleged cyberattacks on the APT28 hacker group, also known as Fancy Bear.

According to the report, the hackers made thousands of attempts to get access to emails of the Defense and Interior ministries through phishing attacks, but only unclassified information has been leaked as a result.

Frederiksen described the situation as “extremely serious” and said other Danish governmental bodies may fall victims of such attacks in future.

“I should say that the scope of this attack made a big impression on me, and so did the fact that we all are very vulnerable in our daily lives. There are all reasons to be concerned,” the minister said.

Similar accusations have earlier been voiced by officials from the United States, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany and other Western countries. The Russian Interior Ministry has strongly rejected the claims as baseless.

 

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