Technology

A man and his guide dog on a train platform
Feb 11 '20 18:30

National railway NS is releasing a new app to provide better information and assistance to passengers with a visual impairment. The app takes the most current information available on platform screens and provides in a manner which can be more easily read by those who have difficulty seeing the digital boards.

“I can now determine for myself which train departs from a platform and check whether I am in the right position,” said Peter Waalboer in a press release issued by NS. He was one of the app’s early testers. “This makes my train journey a little more independent.”

View of the Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam with the Euromast tower in the background
Feb 7 '20 08:30

Around 20 people spent a large part of Thursday night stuck in the upper part of the Euromast in Rotterdam. A malfunction resulted in the rotating glass elevator refusing to descend, NOS reports.

Those present in the Euromast, were stuck in the tower for nearly six hours, until technicians finally managed to get the lift - which gives  a spectacular panorama view of Rotterdam - moving again.

The fire department said that the people stuck in the tower did reasonably well while they were up there. "Fortunately, the heating had not failed," a spokesperson said to NOS. 

Law Faculty at Maastricht University
Feb 6 '20 13:30

Hackers that infected Maastricht University's network with ransomware were in the network for over two months before they attacked, was revealed in the forensic investigation into the attack. "They first mapped out the network in order to be able to roll out the ransomware as well as possible," security expert Frank Groenenweg of Fox-IT, who was involved in the investigation, said to NOS.

Hacker with laptop
Feb 6 '20 09:19

Companies and institutions reported nearly 27 thousand data breaches to the Dutch Data Protection Authority last year, an increase of 29 percent compared to 2018. Most of the leaks came from companies in the financial sector. The number of data leaks due to cyber attacks also increased, especially in the case of ransomware, NOS reports.

"We are seeing a huge increase in data breaches," Monique Verdier of the Dutch Data Protection Authority said to the broadcaster. "Last year we also saw a quarter more reports of attacks such as ransomware." 

Shayan Meydanshahi & Navid Ardakanian of Fusedbone in Amsterdam
Feb 5 '20 12:40

Iran produces some of the world’s most highly skilled migrants, Bloomberg reporting that many victims in the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 tragedy were doctors, engineers and Ph.D. students on their way to top Canadian institutions. For those graduates pursuing careers in scientific research and tech in Iran, the infrastructure used by their overseas peers is simply inaccessible – meaning they have to do much more with much less.

Smartphone updating
Feb 4 '20 08:17

More than half of people in the Netherlands postpone or simply forget to install important updates on their smart devices, according to a study by Panelwizard on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Under the slogan 'Do your updates', the Ministry is launching a campaign to actively urge people to make sure their devices are updated and safe against cyber criminals, AD reports.

Subway station Vijzelgracht in Amsterdam, December 2018
Feb 1 '20 08:00

The WiFi networks WeWork offers tenants of its three Amsterdam offices are so poorly secured that hackers can access tenants' computers with out much difficulty, NU.nl reports based on research the news site did with two cyber security consultants.

WeWork is part of America's The We Company. It rents office space to companies and self-employed. It has offices in 33 countries, including three in Amsterdam.

Philips Headquarters
Jan 28 '20 14:30

Philips is turning its attention even more on medical and health equipment and therefore wants to get rid of the part of the company that makes household appliances like coffee machines and air-fryers, the Dutch electronics company announced with its annual figures on Tuesday.

TikTok
Jan 28 '20 12:15

There was a serious lack of security measures at TikTok, which affected users who posted videos which were moderated by the social media company’s Dutch and German teams, NRC reports. The office was notorious for drug and alcohol use by moderators on duty, and their supervisor, and private information including deleted videos were easily accessible at their WeWork shared space in Berlin.

Friends and family of the moderators were also welcome at the office and were allowed to screen the private user data with little or no supervision, according to the newspaper.

Law Faculty at Maastricht University
Jan 24 '20 08:18

Maastricht University paid between 200 thousand and 300 thousand euros to hackers who had blocked access to the university's digital systems with ransomware, various people involved told the Volkskrant. The university board was forced to pay because the university's backups were also hijacked. The backups - stored on the university servers - contain research data and data from students and staff from the past decades.

Pete Hoekstra and Donald Trump, Oct 2016
Jan 17 '20 10:20

The American ambassador to the Netherlands confirmed that the United States does not want Dutch chip producer ASML to share its advance chip-making machines with everyone. In an interview with Financieele Dagblad, Pete Hoekstra said that this technology "does not belong in certain places". According to the newspaper, he was referring to China.

Hospital ward
Jan 15 '20 15:20

The Leeuwarden Medical Center stopped all data traffic with the outside world as a precaution after hackers tried to break into the hospital's systems, the hospital said on Wednesday.

As a result of this measure, patients cannot access their electronic records, communication with other hospitals is hindered, and hospital employees are unable to work from home. 

Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram apps
Jan 14 '20 17:50

Last year people in the Netherlands lost 1,056,805 euros to scams committed through WhatsApp, quadruple the 262,879 euros in damages sustained in 2018, NU.nl reports based on figures from the Fraud Help Desk.

In 2019, the Fraud Help Desk received 2,663 reports of WhatsApp fraud and 353 people actually fell victim to these scams, compared to 655 report and 124 victims in 2018. In the first two weeks of 2020, the hotline received 112 reports of scams and nine people reported falling victim to the scammers, losing over 38 thousand euros.

Online bullying
Jan 10 '20 08:37

Gay and bisexual young people were more than twice as likely to be bullied, stalked or threatened online than their heterosexual counterparts last year, Statistics Netherlands reports based on a survey among 38 thousand internet users between the ages of 12 and 25 years. Among all young people, regardless of sexual orientation, girls were bothered online almost twice as often as boys.

ASML headquarters in Veldhoven
Jan 6 '20 14:20

The United States pressured the Dutch government, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte himself, to block the sale of ASML chip manufacturing technology to China, Reuters reports based on anonymous sources. According to the news agency, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lobbied the Dutch government, and White House officials shared classified intelligence with Rutte to convince him not to allow the sale. 

Train derailment in the Hague
Jan 2 '20 16:21

A passenger train derailment in Voorburg on Thursday was expected to interrupt scheduled service on the train route between The Hague and Utrecht through the night. There were no injuries among the passengers on the NS Intercity train when it went off the rails, according to rail infrastructure firm ProRail.

Philips Headquarters
Dec 31 '19 08:44

Philips was one of multiple global companies affected by a major espionage campaign by Chinese hackers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The espionage, called Operation Cloud Hopper, was discovered in 2016 and security researchers believe the hackers have links with the Chinese government.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the hackers managed to steal medical research data from Philips. The company said that measurers have been taken and that no patient data had been stolen.

A Foker 100 aircraft from Bek Air
Dec 27 '19 15:37

A passenger jet that crashed in Kazakshtan on Friday was produced and first tested in the Netherlands in 1996. Bek Air flight 2100 departed from Almaty, destined for Nur-Sultan, often known as Astana, but crashed about a minute after it took off at 7:21 a.m. local time.

The Fokker 100, with 95 passengers and five crew members, crashed into a two-story building just at the end of the 4,500-meter long runway 05R/23L. Some 15 people were killed in the crash, of which 14 died at the scene. Dozens more suffered serious or critical injuries.

Teenagers using their smartphones on a bench in Amsterdam
Dec 18 '19 17:10

People in the Netherlands used 18 percent more mobile data in the first half of the year, than the first six months of 2018. It’s the single largest increase ever recorded, according to the Authority for Consumer & Markets in (ACM). Mobile data consumption rose to three gigabytes monthly per mobile connection in the second quarter of the year.

Media Park museum Hilversum
Dec 17 '19 17:00

The Dutch government is implementing a large number of rules, regulations, and law changes at the stroke of midnight on January 1. Below is a summary of changes made in the category Education and Culture:

Electric car
Dec 12 '19 19:00

The charging cards which electric car owners use to charge their cars at a charging point are "childishly easy" to copy, which means that malicious parties can easily charge their car at other people's cost, according to security company ESET. As far as is known, this problem applies to all Dutch charge cards and public charging points, NOS reports.

KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport
Dec 12 '19 17:10

Dutch flag carrier airline KLM plans to send ticketed passengers a mobile payment request to offset their share of carbon-dioxide emissions. The airline said it will start the program as a test in 2020 using social media messaging platform WhatsApp to distribute the requests.

All money collected will be invested in a Panamanian reforestation project, the airline said.

Drone
Dec 12 '19 10:10

The Netherlands Fire Brigade wants to make more use of drones in fighting fires and measuring for dangerous substances, among other things. "Sometimes they can make the difference between life and death," Stephan Wevers, chairman of Brandweer Nederland, said to the Telegraaf. 

The fire department started experimenting with drones in 2013 and last year got a license to fly all over the Netherlands. "We carried out more than 150 flights this year and it showed that drones are already indispensable as our eyes and noses in the air", Wevers said. 

Cybercrime
Dec 11 '19 12:00

The police are expanding its cybercrime teams with 145 full-time employees. That doubles the capacity of the cybercrime teams, which were established early this year to fight digital crimes like hacking, phishing and ransomware, AD reports.

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