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Supo names cyber spying and Syria as main threats

Finland's intelligence agency says that cyber-snooping by foreign powers has penetrated networks run by several government agencies. In an annual report out today, the security police lay out what they see as the main threats at home and abroad.

Suojelupoliisin ovi.
Image: Yle

Last year it came to light that foreign powers had been spying on networks at the foreign ministry--but that is not an isolated incident. Hackers have also breached several government systems and networks. The Finnish Security Intelligence police Supo believes that the attacks come from foreign governments--but is not saying which ones.

Neither will the agency reveal which countries helped uncover the spying at the ministry.

The security police is investigating the foreign ministry case as aggravated espionage. The report mentioned several countries whose security services have advanced capabilities in cyber security. They include China, Russia, the USA, the United Kingdom, Israel and North Korea.

Hacking attempts can, however, be launched from almost any country. There are also large surveillance centres based close to Finland’s borders.

In addition to cyber threats, the agency's annual report also laid out the risk of radicalisation of young Muslims when they travel to Syria.

Individuals from different ethnic groups including Finnish converts to Islam have travelled to Syria from Finland, and two Finnish citizens have died in the fighting. Although the numbers are increasing, Supo says the risk of terror in Finland is still low, and is likely to remain so.

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