There were multiple cyber attacks within the Dutch financial system towards the end of January, and at the receiving end were a handful of leading banks along with the Dutch Revenue Service. All these attacks were administered through a method of hacking known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS).
Presently, it is still unclear who was responsible for these attacks.
Top Ranked Banks Targeted by Cyber Attacks
The hackers targeted the country’s top three banks—ING, Rabobank and ABN Amro. As a result of the cyber attacks, the banks’ customers could not gain access to their accounts and the internet banking operations came to an absolute halt.
The cyber attacks began in late-January, with the ING Bank facing the first DDoS attack. ABN Amro also was a victim of the hackers, with the main website being targeted more than once.
The Rabobank attack happened next. Reports indicate that the bank’s cyber security team worked to mitigate the attack, and normal services were restored around two hours after the attack started.
Typical Overloading of Information
As is typical with DDoS cyber attacks, the ING Bank’s site witnessed an overload of information leading to denial of service to those who attempted logging in to the bank’s website. ABN Amro also confirmed the episode, but they also mentioned that the services were restored quickly.
Revenue Service & Digital Signature System Also Hit
Besides the banks, the Dutch Revenue Service’s website also was subject to cyber attacks by hackers, which lasted only about 10 minutes. Although the country’s online digital signature system, DigiD, was said to have been hacked, the organization was quick to dismiss such reports saying no data had been affected. Some 12 million of the 17 million population in theNetherlands use this platform.
Banks Investing More on Cyber Security
Meanwhile in the Netherlands, banks affected by the DDoS attacks, as well as the others which escaped, claim they have already made huge investments on strengthening their firewall systems and protecting their online assets from possible cyber attacks.
But the organizations accept that it becomes a game of one-upmanship when the banks step up their online security while hackers come up with new ways to mount an attack.