Hackers sent out false Greens mail

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Norway’s Greens Party won big in last year’s municipal elections but has since lost popularity after carrying out some of its tough environmental measures. Now the party reportedly has fallen victim to hackers, who sent out thousands of false emails from a Greens account during the night that claim the party actually “loves” fossil fuels and wants to legalize marijuana.

Lan Marie Nguyen Berg and her colleagues in the Greens Party have decided to negotiate with the socialist parties on a new city government in Oslo PHOTO: MDG/Monica Løvland

Norway’s small Greens Party (MDG) and its high-profile member Lan Marie Nguyen Berg won power in Oslo and other communities in last year’s local elections but have since lost popularity. Now their policies have been distorted in what appears to be a hacking attack on the party’s email system.  PHOTO: MDG/Monica Løvland

The Greens’ membership secretary, Hans Joar Høiby Hansen, confirmed to state broadcaster NRK that the party’s email account was hacked. He declined to comment further on Tuesday morning.

As many as 10,000 emails were sent out to email addresses registered by the party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG). Their messages were clearly designed to embarrass the party and baffle its supporters.

In one of them, the party allegedly announced that it had radically changed its position on fossil fuels. “MDG love fossil fuels!” one mail exclaimed, adding that “without fossil fuels, we wouldn’t be as well off today as we are.” The mail linked to a video that promotes fossil fuels, ending with a greeting: “Have a nice summer and don’t have any bad conscience flying.”

In another false mail, the party was portrayed as changing its political alliances. It lashed out at the Socialist Left party (SV), which shares many of the Greens’ climate and environmental policies, calling SV members “hypocrites” who “scream and yell about how others must share the values they create” but who won’t share their own information or knowledge with the Greens. The mail went on to claim that Greens members should urge family and friends to revoke membership in SV, which it claimed stood for Snart Vekk (soon gone).

Other mails urged legalization of marijuana, claiming that “the war against narcotics had gone too far.” Greens officials have no such plans.

“We’re working now with our (email) provider to determine the scope of (the hacking attack), and will then decide what to do,” stated the Greens party’s secretary Lars Gaupset. “We will also go through the safety of our data systems.” Gaupset apologized for the confusion created by the hacker attack and said it was unclear who was behind it.

The Greens rode a wave of support last fall and ended up with government power in several cities, not least in Oslo. The party quickly set about following through on campaign promises to, for example, restrict driving and boost public transport, but their measures have since sparked protests as parking places disappeared in favour of bike lanes, parking fees and restrictions increased, and Oslo firmly opposed expansion of the E18 highway into Oslo.

The Greens also announced earlier this week that they oppose construction of a third runway at Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen, and prefer to support expanded train service instead of more airline traffic.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund