Wannacry cyber attack has little impact in NL but experts warn on complacency

Illustration: Depositphotos.com

The cyber attack which has infected computers in 150 countries around the world has had little impact in the Netherlands, says Patricia Zorko, head of the National Cyber Security Centre – which is part of the justice ministry.

Payment machines at car parks operated by Q-Park were brought to a halt but the NCSC has not received any other reports of hacks at other companies.

Nevertheless, companies must remain alert to the threat, Zorko told NOS radio news. ‘We are not 100% risk-free,’ she said.

According to some estimates, 200,000 computers worldwide were affected by the hack, particularly hospitals in Britain and public utilities companies in Spain and Russia.

One reason the Netherlands got off so lightly is that the government is continuing to pay for support with its older computer systems. ‘The Netherlands pays for updates, and that means the systems are safe,’ NOS technology reporter Joost Schellevis said.

However, a report on the Netherlands’ ‘cyber readiness’, published this month by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies says the Netherlands has not allocated the resources necessary for ‘for the implementation of the initiatives that it deems important.’


Currently, the report states, ‘there are at least 20 bodies with individual and collective responsibilities for enhancing the cyber security posture of the Netherlands, but no one agency has overarching authority to ensure the national cyber security architecture is achieved.’

The Netherlands, the report points out, spends less than 0.01% of GDP on cyber security, which is far less than countries like the US, Britain, Germany and France.

MPs have called on the government to make a statement about the country’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. ‘I think we were lucky,’ D66 MP Kees Verhoeven said. ‘Some Dutch hospitals and local authorities still work with old software.’

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