Dutch security chief says Russia is trying to hack government websites

Russia, China and Iran have made hundreds of attempts to hack into Dutch government departments and into Dutch companies over the past six months, according to the head of the AIVD security service.

Rob Bertholee told current affairs programme Een Vandaag that Russia in particular is trying to get its hands on confidential government documents.

‘I consider this to be a danger to our democracy,’ he said. ‘The danger is that they will be able to influence how our parliament works or how our government takes decisions.’

Companies are also a major target, he said. ‘Here the danger is that they steal company secrets and can damage the Dutch economy,’ Bertholee said.

However, there is no point in taking action against Russia and other countries because they will deny the accusations, he said.

Earlier this week, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said that the all the votes in next months general election will be counted by hand because the computer counting system is vulnerable to hackers.