Finland Hit By Cyber Attacks

Finland has reported an attack on government websites and a suspected airspace violation by Russian aircraft just as speculation mounts that the Nordic nation will opt to apply for membership in the NATO alliance. 

The cyber attacks and an airspace breach happened on Friday  8th April while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was speaking to the Finnish Parliament. 

The official pages of the Finnish foreign and defence ministries were both knocked offline and the country’s Ministry of Defence tweeted that its website was under attack.   

A few hours later, after resolving the issue, the department clarified that the cyberattack was a denial-of-service attack, which aims to shut down a website so users are unable to access its information. The attack also affected the Finnish foreign ministry’s websites, according to the ministry’s Twitter. The ministry said it was investigating the matter and got its sites working hours later.

Before the cyber attacks, Finland announced a Russian aircraft had potentially violated the country’s airspace, according to Bloomberg. 

At the same time as the violation of Finnish airspace and the cyberattacks, Ukraine's President Zelensky was speaking to Finland regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “President Zelenskyy gave a historic address to the Parliament today,” the foreign ministry tweeted. “Finland firmly supports Ukraine in its efforts to defend freedom and democracy. #StandWithUkraine.” 

Finland has been reconsidering its neutral status and is applying for NATO membership since the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Russia has previously threatened Finland and Sweden if they attempted to join the NATO alliance. “Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences,” Russian foreign ministry said soon after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Finland, which has the European Union’s longest border with Russia and has fought two wars with the Soviet Union has undergone an historic shift in public backing for joining NATO its neighbour’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While opinion polls in neighbouring Sweden reflect a similar change, its ruling Social Democrats have so far remained opposed to such a move. 

Finland’s security service last month warned Russia would increase its spying and influence operations against the Nordic country. 

Euronews:     Reuters:      Bloomberg:        The Hill:       Daily Mail:       Business Alive:  

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