Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (not seen) following their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Aug. 9, 2016. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

Italian authorities have alleged that a hacking attack into foreign ministry email exchanges last year was influenced by Russia. While officials did not confirm who was in charge of the attack, two individuals with knowledge of the incident said Russia was a prime suspect, The Guardian reported Friday.

The attack, which happened last spring over four months, affected staff and embassies from the foreign ministry’s field offices. Once the attacks were identified, officials were able to change their internal security and alter the foreign ministry’s online structure. Officials said Russia wanted to spy on the Italian government to gain more understanding of their “decision-making.”

“There were no attacks on the encrypted level. So the information – delicate, sensitive information – that is usually shared in this net, which is restricted by code, has never been attacked or part of this attack,” a government official said.

Russia has been the subject of accused hacking in recent months, primarily following the U.S. presidential election when the U.S. intelligence community released a report announcing that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016.” Intelligence leaks claimed that Russia’s purpose was to encourage the election to favor Trump.

"It is most certainly consistent with the Putin that I have watched and used to work with when I was an ambassador and in the government. He has had a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, that has been known for a long time because of what she said about his elections back in the parliamentary elections of 2011,” Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, told NBC News.

He added: “[Putin] wants to discredit American democracy and make us weaker in terms of leading the liberal democratic order. And most certainly he likes President-elect Trump's views on Russia."

Russia also reportedly hacked Norway during the fall of 2016 when their Labour Party parlimentary group's electronic communications were undermined. The Norwegian Police Security Service — Politiets Sikkerhetstjeneste or PST — warned the group about the hack and members were advised to use caution when sending emails.