Norway has been hit with a cyber attack this week that temporarily took public and private sector websites down. The country’s national data network was targeted, forcing it to suspend online services for several hours.
The Norwegian National Security Authority (NSM) blamed a "criminal pro-Russian group" after a number of institutions in the country had been subjected to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber attack.
According to The Associated Press, Sofie Nystrøm, head of the NSM, stated that "a criminal pro-Russian group seemed to be behind the hacks".
"The attacks give the impression that we are a piece in the current political situation in Europe," Nystrøm said.
The agency did not name any of the institutions that were affected by the attacks but confirmed private and public institutions offering important services were targeted.
"We are working to find out whether there is a link with state-sponsored actors," Nystrøm later told broadcaster TV2.
"We are quite certain that no sensitive information was taken."
The website of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority was unavailable on Wednesday and Norwegian media reported that it had been among those subject to the attack.
"We've seen similar attacks in other countries recently although none of them have reported any lasting impact," the NSM added.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre believed the DDoS attack had not "caused any significant damage", according to The Associated Press.
While the authorities did not specify the motivations behind the hack, Norwegian media reported that there were complaints over Russian supplies being blocked from passing through Norway to an Arctic Russian coal mining settlement.
The attack on Norway comes after Lithuania reported a similar hack that targeted public and private institution websites.