Dutch land registry's computer system not properly secured: report
The Dutch Land Registry's computer system does not have proper security and is vulnerable to major data breaches, according to Land Registry documents in the Financieele Dagblad's possession. A spokesperson for the Land Registry confirmed the authenticity of the documents to NU.nl.
The main problem seems to be that unauthorized people can gain access to information on the Land Registry's systems. There they can change information or share it with others. This includes databases with confidential information such as records of property ownership and mortgage collateral. These vulnerabilities could hold major risks, as the Land Registry is central to the Dutch property market.
The documents show that the Land Registry's IT directors already warned of a lack of maintenance in December 2014. A report from the fourth quarter of 2015 shows that there are security problems. The Land Registry hopes to fix the vulnerabilities in the first quarter of 2017, according to NU.nl.
Last year the Land Registry was hit by some 11 thousand cyber attacks per month. A spokesperson told the newspaper that none of them succeeded in breaking into their computer systems. Over the past years 18 data leaks were discovered, including five that turned out to be an actual data breach. Two of these leaks were large enough for the Personal Data Authority to be informed.
This is not the first cyber security issue connected to major services in the Netherlands. Late last year a study done by the Open State Foundation revealed that more than half of the Dutch government's websites don't use secure https connections. Last month ethical hacker and cyber security expert Sijmen Ruwhof revealed that most of the political parties in the Netherlands don't secure their websites properly. He also revealed that the software used by Dutch polling stations to send election results is outdated and very vulnerable to hackers. He said that "the average iPad is more secure than the Dutch voting system".