More breakdowns for Dutch banks, but who is behind the cyber attacks?


Speculation is running rife about who is behind a series of cyber attacks on Dutch banks, the tax office and various government departments and services in recent days.

Both ABN Amro and ING banks suffered fresh cyber attacks on Tuesday evening. The two banks notified customers through tweets, while customers posted notices on the technical breakdown website which covers malfunctions throughout the country.

The two banks found problems with their apps as well as with internet and mobile banking services, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday. Neither would comment on the size of the attacks or whether – as in recent days – the breakdowns were due to a DDoS attack.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attackers use computer networks they control to send such a large number of requests for information from websites that servers that host them can no longer handle the traffic and the sites become unreachable.


The origin of the attacks are also unknown as yet. Dick Schoof, who heads the Dutch counter terrorism unit said on Monday the attacks so far were serious but added they were eliminated relatively quickly.

The cyber attacks appear to have come from all directions, but many pundits blame Russia for the chaos. Dutch media reported last Thursday that the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD had spied on the Russian group believed to be behind the hack of the Democratic Party ahead of US elections last year.

‘It is not of question of if, but when the next attacks will come,’ one observer told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

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