Russia's efforts to destabilize the Netherlands, Europe and NATO are so serious that military intelligence agency MIVD considers it the second largest security risk to the Netherlands and the Western world in general. Terrorism stands in first place, MIVD General Major Onno Eichelsheim said at the presentation of the agency's annual report on Monday, NU.nl reports.
Dutch intelligence service AIVD is very concerned about increasing cyber attacks on the Netherlands by countriees like Russia, China and Iran, AIVD director Rob Bertholee said in an interview with EenVandaag. He calls these attacks a threat to democracy.
Over the past six months the Netherlands fought off hundreds of hacking attempts, Bertholee said. Among the targets were secret government documents. And according to the AIVD boss, it is clear that Russia was behind many of the attacks.
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.
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
The Netherlands was the target of a record number of cyber attacks last year, according to general intelligence service AIVD's annual report. Most of these attacks came from Russia and China.
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.
With the popularity of DDoS cyber attacks increasing, more and more schools are also being hit. And the perpetrators are often the school's students themselves, doing so just for the fun of it or because they want to avoid writing an exam, according to Aiko Pras of the University of Twente
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.
The reason for the police website crash on Sunday was likely a human error and not a so-called DDoS cyber attack. The problems have been resolved and the police website is back online.
The police website was offline for hours on Sunday. The police believe that the most likely reason for the website's servers overloading is a large number of people trying to access a photo with a very high resolution on the site at the same time. Though they are not ruling out the possibility of a so-called DDoS attack.
Ziggo has taken extra security measures to make it harder for computer hackers to attack their servers. If all goes well, Ziggo customers will no longer be affected by these attacks.
Internet service provider Ziggo expects that more DDoS attacks will be made on the company's server. Several videos, including one showing the infamous Anonymous mask, have been posted on the internet that threaten Ziggo with more attacks.
The number of reported cyber attacks on the Dutch government's systems and websites has doubled over the past two years. The National Cyber Security Center currently receive reports of an attack almost on a daily basis.
A total of 8.3 percent of worldwide cyber attacks in the second quarter of this year originated in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is thereby third on the rankings, behind Russia - 51 percent of all attacks - and the United States - 12 percent of attacks.
The Cyber Defense Expertise Center officially opened today. Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mart de Kruif officiated the ceremonies on the Bernhard barracks in Amersfoort. This opening is the first step towards the Cyber Defense Commando, which still has to be created.
Setting off fireworks is allowed starting Tuesday morning at 10:00, but the Hotline Firework Nuisance has already received over 40,000 complaints. Initially the reports concerned loud bangs from illegal fireworks, but since this past weekend, when legal sales started, people complain about a "barrage of bangs", reports initiator Arno Bonte.
The general and military intelligence (MIVD and AIVD) will focus on cyber threats with a joined team.
The largest banks of the Netherlands will start working together after cyber attacks. Through sharing information they should be able to defend themselves better. Information is not shared at the moment because of competition considerations.