Fake mobile base stations, which can be used for eavesdropping or spying, have been discovered near Norway’s parliament and within the executive government quarter in central Oslo, Aftenposten news outlet revealed in its two-month independent investigation. Whoever is behind this suspicious activity, they are able to intercept calls, monitor everything taking place in downtown Oslo and track movements in the vicinity of government offices, Aftenposten stressed.
The news outlet established the presence of the fake stations in cooperation with two companies equipped with devices able to detect the spying machines.
“What we see is a form of intelligence gathering on Norwegian soil. There are very few who have the authority to use such equipment in Norway,” a security company representative who helped with the investigation was quoted as saying by the publication.
Norwegian police and security agencies that have the authority to use this equipment denied having anything to do with the fake base stations, the publication reported.
Aftenposten submitted the results of its investigation to Norway’s National Security Authority (NSM) on Thursday.
“The results of Aftenposten’s investigation allow us to conduct our own more focused investigation. We have launched it on Friday,” NSM director of operations, Hans Christian Pretorius, was quoted by the newspaper.
Earlier this year, a US defense and law enforcement technology company discovered 19 fake mobile base stations operating in the country, and upwards of 2,600 such stations were seized in China as part of a nationwide crackdown of illegal telecommunications equipment.
The cost of fake mobile base stations is estimated at anywhere from $67,000 to $271,000. These monitoring stations are not allowed to be sold to private individuals in North Atlantic Treaty Organization member-states.