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Finnish Foreign Ministry Hacked for Years

Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja

Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja // United Nations

A communications network at Finland's foreign ministry was hacked for as many as four years, the nation's top envoy said on Thursday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

No suspects have been publicly identified in the intrusion of the North European country's diplomatic agency computers, which Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said was detected last spring. The penetrated system was not used for "the most sensitive" communications and no top-level secrets were compromised, he said at a press conference.

However, Tuomioja called the infiltration "serious and extensive" and said that the method of getting inside the foreign ministry's network was "extremely sophisticated." It took place "apparently for a long time," the newspaper reported him as saying.

The Finnish foreign ministry is, among other things, playing a central role in attempting to organize and host a major international conference on banning weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East.

In other cyber news, "hundreds" of personnel at the U.S. Energy Department's Oak Ridge facilities were affected by a July-August attack on the agency headquarters' computers in Washington, theKnoxville News-Sentinel reported on Thursday.

Employees at the Tennessee facility -- which houses the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex where highly enriched uranium is stored -- are among more than 104,000 Energy Department workers and contractors nationwide who were affected by the electronic compromise of personal information.

British law enforcement authorities on Monday announced that they had arrested Lauri Love, a 28-year-old indicted the same day in U.S. federal court for illegally infiltrating U.S. government computers. Taken into custody from his home in Stradishall, England -- roughly 20 miles east of Cambridge -- Love is accused of conspiring with others to hack computers at not only the Energy Department but also the U.S. Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, "resulting in millions of dollars in losses," according to a U.S. Justice Department release.

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