Among the other victims are foreign ministries, NATO and the Tibetan government in exile. The report also reveals files were stolen from the computer systems of both the Portuguese and Romanian embassies in Finland. Representatives from both embassies said on Sunday that nothing unusual had been detected.
Harri Sarvanto, Counter Intelligence Director of the Finnish Security Police (Supo), told YLE said considerable resources had been used by the hackers. Such practices, he said, are a common method of intelligence gathering and they posed a challenge to counter-intelligence efforts.
The findings have come as a complete surprise to the Finnish national Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT-FI. Its Director General Erka Koivunen told YLE said no prior request had been made for information.
“Only intelligence services could determine such widespread cyber-spying. If this is a case of state-sponsored spying, it would be the first time a country has been caught in the act,” Koivunen said.
The hackers have operated mainly from inside China and it is thought the data has been passed to the Chinese government, reports the New York Times. Authorities in China have denied this.