Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk's decision to count the votes in the parliamentary elections by hand is unpractical, according to the Dutch association for local governments NVVB.
The votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections in March will all be counted by hand only, to avoid any chance of hackers interfering with the outcome, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs announced on Wednesday. This follows concerns about the security of software used by the Electoral Council and warnings that the Dutch election may be targeted by foreign parties.
Most of the political parties in the Netherlands do not secure their websites properly, which means that they are vulnerable to hackers, ethical hacker Sijmen Ruwhof said to NRC. "PvdA, PVV, VVD, CDA and D66 for example have not installed certain security updates on their party websites for over a year, which makes them more vulnerable to hackers", Ruwhof said to the newspaper.
The software used at Dutch polling stations to send election results, is outdated and very vulnerable to hackers and there are not enough rules around where and where the software can be installed, according to security expert Sijmen Ruwhof, who investigated the software on behalf of RTL Nieuws. According to Ruwhof, "the average iPad is more secure than the Dutch voting system".
The challenge of keeping the Netherlands digitally safe is increasingly growing, according to Onno Eichelsheim, director of Dutch military intelligence service MIVD. The MIVD is therefore urgently looking for the next generation of cyber specialists to keep hackers out, he said to newspaper Trouw on Tuesday.
According to Eichelsheim, the specialists he is looking for is hard to come by, as they first need more training. "In order to understand new threats, I for example need people who can build algorithms to filter large amounts of internet data", he said to the newspaper.
Ransomware - a form of malware that takes your personal files and data "hostage" and only releases them once you've paid a sum of money - is getting more and more sophisticated, security expert Martin van Dantzig of Fox-IT warned in the Volkskrant. This last period has seen particularly rapid professionalization, he said.
With the parliamentary elections coming up in March, and warnings from American security experts that the Netherlands may be targeted by Russian hackers, Dutch parliament is focused on fixing cyber defense issues and increasing cyber security.
Russian hackers made use of a private Dutch server to attack the American Democratic Party, the Volkskrant reports based on documents from the United States' Department of homeland Security. The Dutch server in question belongs to Rejo Zenger, who wors for privacy organization Bits of Freedom.
More than half of the Dutch government's websites still use an insecure internet connection, according to research done by the Open State Foundation. Many don't use the so-called HTTPS standard, which means hackers can easily eavesdrop on the sites or redirect traffic through malicious software, ANP reports.
Defense company Thales deals with over 100 thousand cyber attacs a dy on various fronts ranging from computers on their network to employees' personal phones, CEO Gerben Edelijn said to BNR.
The Dutch government will soon make a proposal that would allow the police to exploit so-called zero-day vulnerabilities in software and not notify the developers about the weaknesses, the Telegraaf reports based on sources in The Hague.
This means that if the police manage to break into a suspect’s phone and computer through a vulnerability that the developer does not know about, the can leave that “back door” open. And they don’t have to tell the developer about it. This will allow the police to make use of the same vulnerability for longer.
Hackers attacked at least 250 Dutch online stores, through which cyber criminals were able to steal payment information from customers placing orders, according to an analysis by security screening Willem de Groot
Hackers managed to break into the municipality of Almelo's servers and steal some 20 gigabytes of data. The exact data stolen is unclear, though it is "almost certain" that personal information was among it
PvdA parliamentarians have questions for Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice and Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs following a hack into the municipality of Ede's website which gave hackers access to personal data of 3,700 Ede residents. Primarily the parliamentarians want to know whether this type of digital security should not be in national hands
A group of Chinese hackers for years had access to the systems of a Dutch-German defense technology company, during which time they "definitely" obtained access to technological information and "probably" also had control of the company's network, the Volkskrant reports based on sources in the intelligence community.
Russian secret services were behind cyber attacks on the Dutch Safety Board's computers last year, according to the German intelligence service Bundesverfassungsschutz (BfV) in a report on Russia's digital espionage activities. According to the service, the Russians were trying to get hold of information about MH17
Banks in the Netherlands have no plans to take extra security measures after two banks were robbed digitally in a short time. According to the Dutch banking association NVB, Dutch banks' security is already at a sufficiently high level
Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs reported that his private email account was hacked. This would have been nothing more than an annoyance, except for the fact that he regularly received work email on his private Gmail account, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said to Nieuwsuur.
An increasing number of hacker groups and cyber spies make use of Dutch computer servers to attack foreign governments, according to a study done by internet security firm Trend Micro
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert is following the "HackerOne" program with interest. The program is a American initiative to have group of carefully selected hackers try in hack into the Pentagon systems.
Two young Dutch hackers were arrested on Sunday. The police believe the two hackers, aged 18 and 19, hacked into a large number of Instagram accounts and thereby managed to steal tens of thousands of euros in advertising revenue from the real users
Small and medium sized companies are increasingly the victims of cyber crimes and are often hit the hardest because they underestimate the risks, according to ABN Amro. 23 percent of SMEs in the Netherlands were attacked over the internet this year, compared to 11 percent of larger companies.
The Netherlands public broadcaster NPO was hit by the largest DDoS attack ever, leaving the NOS site and app unreachable for some time on Sunday night. Other national and regional broadcasters' sites were still online, but difficult to reach.
Hackers targeted the Dutch Safety board around the time that the report on the MH17 disaster was presented. Security company Trend Micro reports that pro-Russian hacker group Pawn Storm is behind the attacks.