Multiple Swedish Newspapers Targeted in Hacker Attacks

An unknown hacker or group of hackers have targeted a number of leading Swedish newspapers over the weekend in a series of coordinated attacks.

The online editions of Sweden’s prominent newspapers were targeted by as-of-yet unidentified hackers over the weekend, Swedish Police revealed as they launched an investigation on Sunday.

The attacks occurred on Saturday and were deemed “extremely dangerous and serious” by Jeanette Gustafsdotter, head of Swedish Media Publishers’ Association.

While nobody claimed responsibility for the cyber attacks, the following newspapers’ online editions were either partially or totally shut down for several hours on Saturday evening. The affected newspapers include:

Aftonbladet, Expressen, Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri and Sydsvenskan.

The speculation among local media is that the websites were the targets of hackers using distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

As revealed by, statistical data provided by Swedish Internet Infrastructure organization Netnod revealed an increase of online traffic coming from Russian-based Internet providers on Saturday night. However, this does not prove conclusive evidence that the attacks were carried out by Russian hackers, experts said. Instead, the hackers may simple by using Russian networks to carry out their attacks.

An anonymous account surfaced on Twitter, shortly before the attacks were carried out with a tweet that warned newspapers “that spread false propaganda” would be targeted and attacked.

The tweet read:

The following days attacks against the Swedish government and media spreading false propaganda will be targeted.

An hour later following the commencement of the attacks, a second tweet stated: “This is what happens when you spread false propaganda. #offline.”

Speaking about the attacks. Gustafsdotter said such deliberate attempts to take down newspaper publications imply a threat to democracy itself.

“To threaten access to news coverage is a threat to democracy,” she claimed.

 Image credit: Wikimedia.