Ransomware found in Dutch parliament

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No image availableNL Times

Ransomware was found on the computer systems of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, a spokesperson for the Kamer confirmed to various news sources after D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven posted about it on Twitter. Exactly what happened is unclear, but according to Tweakers, the problems are largely solved.

"The Kamer already took appropriate measures. As usual, we can not discuss it further because of safety", the Kamer spokesperson said to NOS.

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts data on infected hard drives so that the owner can't access it without a password. To get the password, the owner has to pay the attackers a "ransom". It seems the ransomware got onto the Tweede Kamer computers through an email. Anyone who clicked on the attachment, installed the ransomware on their computer.

An internal Tweede Kamer email, which broadcaster NOS got its hands on, shows that the ransomware did manage to encrypt some files. "We are dealing with ransomware which addressed significant attacks on us (and according to Fox-IT some companies) and which unfortunately encrypted files", the email reads, according to NOS. "The mail is now blocked. Currently we are analyzing the damage. Then we will repair the damage. We will do this by replacing the infected files with a backup."

"IT system Tweede Kamer hit with ransomware. Very annoying but hopefully it creates more awareness", Kees Verhoeven said on Twitter. To NOS he added "Because I constantly ask for more attention to this issue, I thought it would be nice to report that ransomware was detected in the system. Furthermore, we now heard that everything is in order."


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