From Iceland — Computer Security Expert Doubts Sigmundur's Hacking Claims

Computer Security Expert Doubts Sigmundur’s Hacking Claims

Published September 13, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
USA Network/Art Bicnick

“A little bit like science fiction” is how one computer security expert has described the former Prime Minister’s claims of having his computer hacked, RÚV reports.

As reported, Sigmundur told attendees of the Progressive Party Central Committee that attempts had been made to break into his computer, and that security staff at the Prime Minister’s office found signs of hacking on his machine. However, Vísir reports police never received any notice that this crime had taken place. In fact, the management team in charge of security at the Prime Minister’s office told Kjarninn that while Sigmundur did request his computer inspected in April 2016, they found no signs that his machine had been hacked, nor that a hack had been attempted.

“I find this [hacking] scenario to be maybe a little bit like science fiction, but there is an overwhelming chance in all circumstances that there are clear signs of a hack if a hack occurred,” Theódór Gíslason, a computer security expert at Syndis, told radio station Rás 2 this morning. “I think it’s safe to confirm that. A computer attack of the kind he describes would obviously leave traces behind in most cases.”

Theódór added that even attempting to hack a high-ranking politician’s computer would trip numerous security measures.

“An unbelievable amount of security measures need to be broken [for a hacker to take control of a computer] and it would be possible to find signs of such an attack while investigating the computer,” he said. “It is extremely difficult to do this without setting off all the alarm bells in the security system. This is why one takes all this with some reservation.”

On the whole, Theódór considers it highly unlikely that foreign creditors would hire a hacker to break into a sitting Prime Minister’s computer. In his speech, Sigmundur told his hacking story within the context of claiming that foreign creditors have followed him during his trips abroad, and have attempted to speak with him in private about Iceland’s fallen banks.

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