Cyber-weapons in International Politics : Possible sabotage against the Norwegian petroleum sector

NUPI Report

The use of digital weapons is a rising global problem. Society is rapidly becoming more digitalized – and thereby more vulnerable to attacks. These vulnerabilities are increasingly abused by states and other international actors: Information is stolen, and sabotage occurs. Politically motivated digital attacks against petroleum-sector infrastructure represent one such threat, but this has not attracted as much attention by politicians and business leaders as other security challenges in the sector. In an international crisis, Norwegian oil and gas deliveries to Europe could be attacked on a scale far exceeding what the private and public sectors experience on a daily basis. Such attacks could be aimed at stopping or hindering the physical delivery of petroleum, with direct economic, security and political implications beyond the digital domain.This report examines the issue of digital sabotage of the Norwegian petroleum sector by placing the issue in a geopolitical context, by examining previous cases, and by investigating the current security setup in the petroleum sector.