The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) asked Norwegians to be far more aware of foreign espionage. Norwegians travelling in some countries (for example, Russia), were advised to take precautions.
For the second consecutive year, PST believes that intelligence services from foreign states,especially from Russia and China, pose the biggest threat to Norwegian interests.
‘We estimate that foreign states’ recruitment of sources and agents, impact and mapping of businesses and critical infrastructure, as well as network operations, will pose the most serious challenges in 2018,’ said PST chief, Benedicte Bjørnland, during the presentation of PST’s open threat assessment in Oslo on Tuesday afternoon.
The PST boss is concerned that Norwegians, both individuals involved in activities such as those in which foreign intelligence services may be interested, and businesses, organisations, and agency employees, have to become far more aware of the fact that espionage occurs.
Therefore, during the year’s threat assessment, PST took a closer look at the methods used by intelligence services.
‘We think this is public information to businesses and agencies that is based on fundamental interests, and that it is conscious. We hope that people will recognise illegal intelligence activity when you see it,’ said Bjørnland.
For example, in the report, PST asked employees in vulnerable companies to be on guard if a colleague, contact or acquaintance requests sensitive information that is not a natural part of his/her work portfolio.
According to the PST report, foreign intelligence carries out extensive reconnaissance of people who they think may have access to interesting information, so to contact them in an open arena, such as during a conference. It may typically start with a friendly contact,before the intelligence officer will later try to achieve his object by putting the person in his debt, and they can be used again’, said the report.
In particular, Norwegians travelling in countries without security policy cooperation with Norway, such as Russia, are exposed. PST warned that persons concerned with sensitive businesses take precautions, and assess their own security measures before such travel.
PST also asked researchers, politicians, and journalists to be aware that foreign interests can try to influence, or weaken, Norwegian democracy, and influence the outcome of political processes.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today