Russia Cyberattacks Finland During NATO War Games
Russia was behind cyberattacks on a global positioning system signal in Finland and Norway during massive nato war games held from October 25 to November 7, according to a November 11 statement by Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.
The large-scale disruptions to gps signals forced pilots, including those of civilian aircraft, to switch to alternative navigation systems. These attacks were “not a joke,” Sipilä said, adding that they “threatened the air security of ordinary people.”
“It’s no small matter, since civilian flights have been put in danger,” he said. He believes the incidents were serious “airspace violations.”
Sipilä was careful to say that Russia “could be” the party responsible for these attacks, rather than asserting it as a fact. But a look at the details of this cyberassault, and some of the recent events leading up to it, shows that it is almost beyond debate that Russia was the perpetrator.
First, back in 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Finland that if it joined nato, Russia would take action. nato is the military alliance of more than two dozen North American and European countries. Finland, which officially is militarily neutral, is not a member. But Finland’s interest in joining nato has risen ever since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, and the Finns have been increasing cooperation with nato on a number of fronts.
In May, Finland signed a major agreement with nato stipulating its full involvement in nato drills and granting it access to nato command and control and weapons systems. In return, nato was given full access to Finland’s airspace and territorial waters. Since Finland lies along Russia’s western border, this agreement was unsettling to Moscow. Russia’s leadership responded with a severe threat to Finland, saying that if it continued cozying up to nato, Russia would take countermeasures.
Despite the threat, Finland participated in the October-November nato military drill Trident Juncture, the organization’s largest war games since the Cold War. Since the disruptions to gps signals in Finland and Norway came during these war games, analysts believe this was part of the “countermeasures” Russia previously threatened. nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu told cnn on November 14 that Moscow is culpable: “Norway has determined that Russia was responsible for jamming gps signals in the Kola Peninsula during Exercise Trident Juncture,” she said. “Finland has expressed concern over possible jamming in Lapland.”
This attack is far from an isolated incident. In recent years, both Russia and China have targeted computer networks and other cybertechnologies of Western nations with increasing frequency and intensity. The reason for this type of offense and its increase is because computer-based technologies are often very vulnerable.
This vulnerability has been on Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s radar for more than 20 years. He first wrote about it in the mid-1990s, warning about the dangers of America’s—and specifically the American military’s—dependence on computer systems that are vulnerable to enemy sabotage. In our January 1995 issue, he quoted analyst Joseph de Courcy, who called this dependence “the Western world’s Achilles’ heel.”
Mr. Flurry wrote: “America is the greatest superpower this world has ever known. But we have a very vulnerable point in our military—our own Achilles’ heel. It is so dangerous that I am amazed it hasn’t received more publicity.”
Mr. Flurry said studying into the Western world’s cybervulnerability reminded him of a Bible prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 7. Verses 1 through 3 show that God is addressing “the land of Israel” in the time of “the end,” which refers mainly to the modern era and the United States and Britain. (You can prove this profound truth for yourself by studying our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)
Ezekiel 7 describes a future time when God will punish these nations for their “abominations” and their rejection of His law and authority (verse 8). Verse 14 describes one aspect of that punishment: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.”
Mr. Flurry called this an “alarming” scripture. It is about a future time when U.S. military technology will be hijacked by enemies. “It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs!” Mr. Flurry wrote. “Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of a computer terrorist?”
Isaiah 59 provides more details about this future time of calamity. In verses 9 and 10, the people of America and Britain are shown to be stripped of vision. This could include the “vision” provided by satellites such as those of the U.S.-based gps: “[W]e wait for light, but behold obscurity; [we wait] for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.”
Russia’s cyberassault on Finland is another reminder of the vulnerability of many vital computer networks. It shows that for Finland or the United States, or any nation reliant on such technologies, that Achilles’ heel could be pierced.
To understand more about this Bible prophecy and to know where the rising global tensions are leading, please read “America’s Achilles’ Heel” and order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.