Icelanders Have Computer Hacking Skills - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Have Computer Hacking Skills

Published October 4, 2019

Sam O'Donnell
Photos by
RentVine/Creative Commons

The CEO of Syndis, an Icelandic network security company, believes that Icelanders have been involved in extensive computer breaches recently. Due to the high profitability of this crime, it is likely that this type of security breach will become more common in the future if it is not stopped.

Stöð 2 news said on October 3rd that foreign hackers were cheating almost nine hundred million ISK out of the household goods store Rúmfatalagerinn last year. The issue extends as far as China and Hong Kong. A similar incident was reported shortly afterwards, with around four hundred million being cheated out of HS Orka.

Valdimar Óskarsson, CEO of Syndis, says he believes Icelanders are likely to be assisting in these computer-based crimes.

“I don’t believe that Google Translate is good enough today that it can deliver seamless Icelandic with our complex grammar,” Valdimar said. This is true. While Google Translate has improved its Icelandic over the last few years, it still translates a few phrases and idioms literally.

When asked if this kind of larceny will become more common, Valdimar said that there is still much to be done about the thieves; that they are likely to keep doing crime and making money.

Companies have a tendency not to disclose when they are hit by computer scams. It must be embarrassing. However, Valdimar said that it would be beneficial to talk about this so that companies can learn from each other.

“Often these are the same mistakes that occur at different companies. If one company is hacked, it would be good to try to warn others of similar offences,” he said.

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