Cyber attacks by malicious countries are the biggest digital threat to the Netherlands' national security, according to the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security's (NCTV) annual report on digital security. Such countries want to spy, influence public opinion, disrupt society or even sabotage vital systems, the NCTV warns, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch banks ABN Amro and Rabobank were again targeted by DDoS attacks on Sunday night, leaving their online banking services unavailable for a time, ANP reports.
The two Dutch banks were also targeted by such cyber attacks on Thursday. In a DDoS attack, a website is bombarded with data, overloading its server and crashing the site.
Rabobank and ABN Amro were targeted by DDoS attacks on Thursday night and Friday morning. As a result their online and mobile banking, iDeal payments and websites were hard to reach or completely offline for several hours.
The attacks on Rabobank started around 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, NOS reports. The problems were resolved shortly before midnight. ABN Amro was attacked during the early hours of Friday morning.
In a DDoS attack a website is bombarded by large amounts of data, crashing its server and therefore also the site.
The Dutch police took a website offline on which DDoS attacks could be purchased for a small amount. The site - Webstresser.org - was the largest provider of such cyber attacks worldwide, the police said in a statement on Wednesday.
So-called booter or stresser sites, like Webstresser.org, are often used to set up DDoS attacks.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) made sure all Dutch government organizations are aware of a warning issued by the American and British security services about Russian state hackers targeting network equipment. The NCSC, which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Security, takes this warning seriously and advises all Dutch organizations to check their network equipment for erroneous configurations, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch government and businesses in the Netherlands need to work together to create a kind of national firewall to protect important websites and apps against DDoS attacks, five experts in digital security plead in an open letter, NOS reports.
Currently banks, telecom providers, energy companies and other businesses all individually hire security companies to help prevent such cyber attacks. But that is not enough to stop these types of attacks, the experts warn. If they worked together, they could prevent an attack one one company from having success at another company.
The websites of the Dutch Tax Authority and DigiD were hit by DDoS attacks on Wednesday afternoon. As a result no tax declarations could be filed for hours, and people had trouble logging in to various government websites, NU.nl reports.
The attack on the Tax Authority started around 3:00 p.m., and DigiD was hit around 3:25 p.m. Both sites were fully accessible again by 8:00 p.m.
The attack did not affect the security of taxpayer's data, not even if people were filing declarations when the DDoS attack started, a spokesperson for the Tax Authority said to the newspaper.
An 18-year-old Oosterhout man arrested in connection with DDoS attacks on Dutch financial institutions, wanted "to show that a teenager can simply crash all banks with a relatively simple attack", suspect Jelle S. wrote in an email to the Volkskrant shorty before his arrest.
The police arrested an 18-year-old man from Oosterhout in connection with multiple DDoS attacks on the Tax Authority, tech site Tweakers and internet provider Tweak last week, as well as on online bank Bunq in September last year. The man was arrested on Thursday, February 1st, the police said in a statement on Monday.
ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and the Tax Authority again faced DDoS attacks on Tuesday, though this time the financial services managed to deter them better than over the weekend. The attacks caused a short disruption in payment system iDeal, but the problems were quickly restored, NOS reports.
ABN Amro was troubled by attacks all day long, but they were mostly successfully fought off, a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. Around 5:30 p.m. the bank faced a short disruption.
The Dutch Tax Authority was hit by a DDoS attack on Monday, NOS reports. According to the tax service, its site was difficult to reach for a time on Monday morning, but everything should be working again. Three Dutch banks also faced such cyber attacks since Saturday.
A number of online Rabobank services are unavailable on Monday due to a DDoS attack, the bank confirmed. Rabobank is the third Dutch bank affected by such a cyber attack since Saturday.
In a DDoS attack large amounts of data traffic is sent to a particular website, overloading its server and thereby crashing the site. According to Rabobank, some customers can currently not log into their mobile- and online banking. iDeal is also currently not available to everyone, a spokesperson for the bank told NU.nl.
Dutch banks ABN Amro and ING were both hit by DDoS attacks over the weekend, leaving customers unable to use their mobile- or online banking for hours at a time, NOS reports.
In a DDoS attack large amounts of data traffic is sent to a particular website, overloading its server and thereby crashing the site.
A massive 75 percent of Dutch people have little to no worries about cyber security at their work place, though many do take measures for digital protection at home, according to a National Cybersecurity Awareness Study that Alert Online published on Monday. The study's release coincides with the launch of Alert Online's annual cybersecurity campaign, NU.nl reports.
A fifth of Dutch companies with at least 10 employees, dealt with the consequences of a cyber attack last year, Statistics Netherlands revealed in a study on IT incidents on Monday. Companies in the financial- and energy sectors are most vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to the stats office.
Container company APM finally reopened one of its two terminals at the port of Rotterdam after being hit in a global ransomware attack on Tuesday. So far Dutch insurers received only a few damage claims from businesses affected by the Petya attack, BNR reports after talking to a number of large insurers.
Countless computers across the world were infected with ransomware in a new global cyber attack. In the Netherlands the malware hit the APM container terminal in the port of Rotterdam, pharmaceutical MSD and package carrier TNT. There is no sense in paying the ransom, cyber security experts warn, broadcaster NOS reports.
The Dutch police implemented "precautionary measures against a possible cyber attack" which left some functionalities on the police website party or completely unavailable, the police said in a statement.
"Forms that are completed and sent may not arrive or only much later", the police said, apologizing for the inconvenience. It is not clear how long these measures will be in place.
The police can still easily be reached via the telephone.
Terrorism, cyber attacks and climate change are new concerns on top of the official risk assessment for Amsterdam and its surrounding municipalities. Since the previous risk assessment in 2012, safety office Veiligheidsregio Amsterdam-Amstelland dropped a number of older concerns to make room for new risks like the consequences of a terrorist attacks, increasingly dangerous storms due to climate change and the internet falling out due to a cyber attack, Het Parool reports.
The modified version of Blackboard software used by the University of Amsterdam contains major security vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited by cyber attackers, according to two students at the university who researched this as part of their studies, NU.nl reports.
According to students Bram ter Borch and Auke Zwaan, they shared these vulnerabilities with the university's IT department in May last year, but the department did not do enough to fix the problems. So the students decided to make their findings public.
National school students' organization LAKS was hit in a ransomware attack that left its exam complaint website off line from 4:00 p.m. on Thursday until Friday morning.
The Dutch police are calling on all individuals and businesses to report any form of cyber attack on their computers, following a global ransomware attack that infected at least 200 thousand computers in 150 countries since Friday, including in the Netherlands, according to NU.nl. The virus infected computers through a months-old security leak in Windows, for which Microsoft already implemented an update.
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.