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DDoS attacks brings down most Dutch government websites

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Hacking attack blocks Dutch government websites

Dutch government websites  were knocked out after being subjected to a DDoS attack by unknown actors. “The Public and Communications office, part of the Ministry of General Affairs, in conjunction with Centric/Prolocation and the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), are evaluating the attack,” the government said in a statement.

Websites went down around 0900 GMT and the disruption lasted well into Tuesday evening, the statement added, noting other communications like phone lines were not affected.

Initially Hosting provider Prolocation and advertising network Platform IQ said that the outage was caused by a failed fibre optic cable . This was before evidence was found of the DDoS attack.Rijksoverheijd.nl and Government.nl, the government’s Dutch and English websites crashed in the morning around 10 am and stayed that way till the evening. The Dutch blog site GeenStijl.nl and Telfort, a telecommunication firm also suffered from outages that lasted over 7 hours.

MPs irate

The outage of the websites meant MP could not send or receive parliamentary papers, causing members of Parliament (MPs) for the Labour Party to demand an explanation for the cyber attack. The general feeling was one of astonishment that there was no backup to bring the websites back online.

This outage represents cyber attackers’ growing preference for using DDoS attacks against a variety of targets, including government websites. Just last month  19,000 French municipality websites were hit with low-level DDoS attacks and subsequently defaced by three Islamic hacker groups—Middle East Cyber Army, Fallaga team, and Cyber Caliphate—following the Charlie Hebdo attacks that killed 11 people in Paris on January 7th.

The investigation is still under process, the attacker is yet unknown

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