Most cyber-attacks affecting Sweden originate in Russia, according to news reports.
It is a serious threat because in different ways they can push themselves in to the very foundations of a democracy and influence democratic decision-making,” Major General Gunnar Karlson, head of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service (Must) said in a TV interview.
Speaking to SVT’s Agenda show, Karlson said there was clear evidence Russia had attempted to gain access to Swedish government and military secrets.
The agency sees operations looking to influence behaviors of Swedish groups or population. Karlson mentioned the incident of a falsified letter purporting to have been written by Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. In 2015, a fake letter indicating that Sweden is protecting Ukrainian interests was circulating in Russian media.
“That was easy to expose but clearly targeted against Sweden”, Karlson said. “It’s often not the individual influence operations that do the worst damage, but it risks leading to a general mistrust of information.”
The cyber-attacks are “ongoing”, he added.