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POLITICS

Sweden’s Social Democrats’ website hacked in attack linked to Russia and North Korea

The website of Sweden's centre-left Social Democrats has been hacked for a second time, and the IP address responsible was linked to Russia and North Korea, according to the party's IT provider.

Sweden's Social Democrats' website hacked in attack linked to Russia and North Korea
The party's leader and current prime minister Stefan Löfven pictured at the weekend. Photo: Nils Petter Nilsson/TT

The hack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, meaning those responsible disrupted the site to make it unavailable to users.

“This is serious. Citizens don't have access to our site, the heart of our election campaign, where the information about our policies is,” the party's head of communications, Helena Salomonson, told TT.

The site was attacked at around 9pm on Monday, and was down for around six minutes in total, Salomonson said. The party has reported the incident to police.

READ ALSO: How Sweden's getting ready for the election-year information war

It's the second time in around a week that the Social Democrats, currently part of the ruling coalition with the Green Party, have experienced an online attack, after a similar hack when they first launched their election campaign. On that occasion, the site remained down for several hours.

“Denial-of-service attacks are quite hard to prevent,” Salomonson said. “Now we need to look over our preventative measures again.”

The IP addresses behind the attack were linked to Russia and North Korea, according to information from the party's IP provider, but Salomonson said: “It feels difficult to speculate about possible participants and motives.”

READ ALSO: How to vote in the 2018 Swedish election

 

Member comments

  1. A DDoS attack does not mean a site was hacked, it just brings the site down due to server limitations… also the IP being in Russia means littles since the attackers could hide behind VPNs.

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ECONOMY

Swedish parliament approves government’s budget

The government's budget and controversial pensions agreement has been passed by parliament after an independent MP, who held the deciding vote, chose to support it at the last minute.

Swedish parliament approves government's budget

The budget passed by 174 to 173 votes.

As a result, guaranteed pensions for pensioners on low or no incomes will increase by up to 800 kronor a month after tax from August.

Formally, a majority of MP’s voted no to the right-wing opposition’s budget, proposed by the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Sweden Democrats, meaning that the budget proposed by the government with the support of the Green Party, the Left Party and the Centre Party was approved.

If the vote had been even on both sides, it could have been decided by drawing lots, giving each budget a 50 percent chance of being passed.

Finance Minister Mikael Damberg thanked the parties supporting the government’s budget in a press conference following the vote.

“I want to thank the parties who contributed to this: the Centre Party, the Left Party and the Green Party,” he said. “In total, a million pensioners will be affected by this proposal as soon as this autumn.”

“It’s a necessary reform which is about equality. After a life spent working in Sweden, everyone has the right to economic security in their old age.”

In an interview with public service broadcaster SVT Nyheter after the vote, leader of the conservative Moderate party, Ulf Kristersson criticised the new budget, stating that pensioners would have been better off under the opposition’s proposal.

“It harms confidence in Swedish economic policy and it’s bad for the pensioners who would have had a better pension under our proposal,” he told SVT.

“It shouldn’t ever go to drawing lots,” he told SVT, “this has been a rather telling end to a term of office which has been completely unsustainable.”

“We need governments who can govern, with a governing foundation and well-thought-out economic policy.”

On the other side of the political divide, Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar was happy to see the government’s budget passed, despite the fact that the so-called Nooshi-supplement to pensions which she had lobbied for was not included in the final pension proposal.

“It’s a long time since I was this happy,” she told SVT. “We wanted a raise in the guarantee pension from the beginning – we haven’t raised the guarantee pension by this much in over 25 years.”

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