The Netherlands must work on diplomacy, defense and development in order to tackle the growing threat of cyber attacks from hostile countries and criminals, according to the International Cyber Strategy that Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs sent to Dutch parliament on Sunday. Koenders wants international law to be supplemented to suit the needs of the new digital world, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch Land Registry's computer system does not have proper security and is vulnerable to major data breaches, according to Land Registry documents in the Financieele Dagblad's possession. A spokesperson for the Land Registry confirmed the authenticity of the documents to NU.nl.
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.
Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk's decision to count the votes in the parliamentary elections by hand is unpractical, according to the Dutch association for local governments NVVB. Counting the ballots by hand is expensive, will take a long time and is unreliable, the NVVB said in a statement.
The votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections in March will all be counted by hand only, to avoid any chance of hackers interfering with the outcome, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs announced on Wednesday. This follows concerns about the security of software used by the Electoral Council and warnings that the Dutch election may be targeted by foreign parties.
Most of the political parties in the Netherlands do not secure their websites properly, which means that they are vulnerable to hackers, ethical hacker Sijmen Ruwhof said to NRC. "PvdA, PVV, VVD, CDA and D66 for example have not installed certain security updates on their party websites for over a year, which makes them more vulnerable to hackers", Ruwhof said to the newspaper.
The software used at Dutch polling stations to send election results, is outdated and very vulnerable to hackers and there are not enough rules around where and where the software can be installed, according to security expert Sijmen Ruwhof, who investigated the software on behalf of RTL Nieuws. According to Ruwhof, "the average iPad is more secure than the Dutch voting system".
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.
Out of fear of being eavesdropped on, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher did not dare to call Prime Minister Mark Rutte from his cellphone after flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014, Asscher said on television program Jinek.
The Deputy Prime Minister was on holiday in France at the time. Instead of calling the Prime Minister from his mobile phone, he knocked on the door of a neighbor and asked if he could use her landline. "I had to talk to the Prime Minster in The Hague. That you don't do with your mobile. These discussioins might be of interest to Russians or others."
With the parliamentary elections coming up in March, and warnings from American security experts that the Netherlands may be targeted by Russian hackers, Dutch parliament is focused on fixing cyber defense issues and increasing cyber security.
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.
The D66 wants official European safety standards for devices that connect to the so-called internet of things. Devices that do not meet these standards should be banned, parliamenterian Kees Verhoeven said in an interview with NU.nl. He will submit a proposal addressing this to Dutch parliament next week.
Banks in the Netherlands have no plans to take extra security measures after two banks were robbed digitally in a short time. According to the Dutch banking association NVB, Dutch banks' security is already at a sufficiently high level
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert is following the "HackerOne" program with interest. The program is a American initiative to have group of carefully selected hackers try in hack into the Pentagon systems.
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.
Security and Justice Minister Ard van der Steur is currently in the United States on a two-day work visit to discuss counterterrorism and cyber security. He will also attend the bi-annual ministerial meeting between the US and the European Union while there.
An Amsterdam delegation led by Mayor Eberhard van der Laan and a Dutch delegation including Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs are currently on a trade visit in Japan. Prime Minister Rutte will be leaving the Asian country after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to attend the refugee summit in Malta on Wednesday and Thursday.
Dutch primary- and high schools should structurally pay attention to pay attention to privacy issues, digital media and the legal aspects of the internet. And Dutch pupils should achieve a mandatory digital proficiency certificate.
The round-up of some of this week’s most noteworthy events and news stories features: the violent autumn storm that passed over The Netherlands, two dead by fire in wind turbine, top Dutch baseball players, violence against gay people in Vondelpark, and the death of Bonfire.
The Netherlands has agreed to expand cooperation with Germany on digital security.
Cyber security is a growing challenge and the Netherlands will host the fourth International Cyberspace Conference in 2015.
Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Willem Opstelten on October 28 will officially launch the cyber security campaign.