The Ministry of Defense is stepping up the fight against cyber attacks. In addition to investing more in fighting off cyber attacks, the Ministry also wants to deal with perpetrators more publicly as recently happened after a thwarted espionage attempt by the Russians on the OPCW in The Hague, ANP reports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising Dutch traveling to China to only take 'empty' phones and laptops, with no sensitive data, with them. Data on these devices may be 'drained' remotely. This warning now also applies to Russia, Iran, and possibly Turkey, insiders told the Volkskrant.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
Dutch companies, government institutions and citizens are not responding fast enough against growing digital threats, according to National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof. At home and at work Dutch people often opt for the fastest solution, instead of the most secure one. Which means that the gap between threats and security measures is getting larger instead of smaller, Schoof said in the Netherlands Cyber Security Image 2017, ANP reports.
The Dutch government and Dutch companies are very poorly protected against cyber attacks and crime, according to a report by the Rathenau Institute. Current measures against cyber threats are insufficient and strengthening cyber security in the Netherlands should be a higher priority, the report says according to ANP.
The report, titled A never run race was done at the request of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security and intelligence service AIVD.
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.
The Ministry of Defense is launching its Defense Cyber Commando (DCC) team next year, the Ministry announced on Wednesday. The unit consists about 80 officers who will focus on protecting the Netherlands' own digital networks, but can also carry out offensive attacks, ANP reports.
These offensive attacks could include switching off computers and weapon systems, or altimeters for aircraft, according to the news wire.
A group of Chinese hackers for years had access to the systems of a Dutch-German defense technology company, during which time they "definitely" obtained access to technological information and "probably" also had control of the company's network, the Volkskrant reports based on sources in the intelligence community.
An increasing number of hacker groups and cyber spies make use of Dutch computer servers to attack foreign governments, according to a study done by internet security firm Trend Micro
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.
Between 15 and 20 Dutch soldiers are actively fighting in Syria and Iraq, according to annual figures for 2015 from military intelligence service MIVD.