Monday 23 November 2020

Russian hackers in The Hague not alone, other hacking attempts on file


Hackers from various other countries are also active in the Netherlands alongside Russian hackers and at least nine different groups have aroused suspicion, web security group Kaspersky has told broadcaster NOS.

‘The Netherlands is not often in the news as a country where hacking takes place so we dug back into our files,’ researcher Jornt van der Wiel told NOS. That search resulted in nine other identified attempts at digital espionage in the past four years, the broadcaster said.

The hackers focused on diplomats and companies but one academic hospital was also a target, Van der Wiel said.

Last week, Dutch intelligence agencies said they had thwarted an attempt by Russian agents to hack into the wi-fi network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague.

Four agents from the GRU military intelligence service were ejected from the Netherlands immediately after the attempted breach was intercepted on April 13 this year. The OPCW is carrying out forensic tests in the investigation into the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4.

Kaspersky, which is a Russian company by origin, did not link the other hacking attempts to countries but it is clear the hackers were operating on behalf of governments because they were looking for information, not money, NOS said.

One group has been involved in attempts to hack US government websites while another, which broke into chip machinery maker ASML, comes from China, NOS reported.

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