The Dutch police are concerned about an increasingly popular development in cybercrime, which the police refer to as cybercrime-as-service. Criminals can now buy cyber attacks easily, cheaply and at any time of day or night, the police said in a statement.
Over the past days the police ran an online awareness campaign to show Dutch young people how their experimental behavior can "turn into cybercrime" with just one click. Nearly 10 thousand young people clicked on links to learn how to steal game money on Fortnite, hack into an Instagram account, or buy a DDoS attack targeting their school. Instead they ended up at the police campaign site - "You're just one click away from cybercrime".
School system Magister was hit by a DDoS attack on Thursday evening. As a result, tens of thousands of pupils from hundreds of Dutch schools were unable to access their rosters, homework assignments and results. "It's a rough attack", a Magister spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws.
The school system went offline at around 6:00 p.m. Magister called in a specialized company to "suppress" the issue, and they managed to get the system back online at around 10:00 p.m.
The three large Dutch banks - ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank - are largely dependent on only one company for cyber security against DDoS attacks. The cyber security firm in question is the American company Akamai, which counts 18 of the world's 30 largest banks as its customers, Financieele Dagblad reports.
The DigiD website was unavailable for a time on Wednesday due to a DDoS attack - the third attack on the site in a week's time. Allestoringen.nl received hundreds of reports from people who were unable to reach the government website, NU.nl reports.
As the DigiD site was unreachable, it was impossible to log into government websites, like the Tax Authority site, because these sites use DigiD as a login system.
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.
A large power outage affecting parts of Amsterdam and Schiphol on Sunday also caused problems for chat service Telegram. Users across the world could not connect to the Telegram servers, NU.nl reports.
On Twitter Telegram reported that users in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa could have connection problems. The problem was resolved around 1:00 p.m.
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 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.
Jelle S., an 18-year-old from Oosterhout suspected of DDoS attacks on the Dutch Tax Authority and others, was released from custody. He is still considered a suspect, NU.nl reports.
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.
In a DDoS attack large amounts of data is sent to the targeted site, overloading the site's server and thereby crashing the site.
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.
Despite being offline for large parts of Tuesday and Wednesday due to cyber attacks, online voting aids Stemwijzer and Kieskompas helped a record number of visitors make an informed decision during this election period. A total of 8 million people completed online questionnaires on the sites to find out which party best suits their needs and beliefs, the Telegraaf reports.
Turkish hacker groups targeted a large number of Dutch websites after the political fallout between the Netherlands and Turkey over the weekend. The NL Times website was also targeted.
NL Times was the victim of at least two DDoS attacks on Sunday and Monday, in an attempt to take the site offline, according to a Turkish-language Facebook group linked to cyber-attackers. In a DDoS attack, a large amount of traffic is sent to specific servers, causing them to crash.
The leader of the police department's High Tech Crime Team (THTC) is disappointed that children had the latitude to engage in a cyberattacks against internet service provider Ziggo earlier this year. Parents need to be more aware of the activities their children engage in online, THTC chief Gert Ras told the Volkskrant.
Four underage boys and one man were arrested for cyberattacks on the internet service providers Ziggo and KPN. The five were interrogated by the police department’s High Tech Crime Team (THTC) throughout Tuesday following the arrest for Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks on both companies.