Police arrest suspect for DDoS attack on MijnOverheid.nl
Breda - On Friday, April 10, 2020, a 19-year-old man from Breda was arrested who is suspected of having shut down the websites MijnOverheid.nl and Overheid.nl by carrying out DDoS attacks. These attacks were carried out on March 19. The aforementioned sites were therefore off the air for some time. Overheid.nl was and is frequently visited because of the corona crisis. The availability of this site to citizens is crucial for the country, especially during these times.
“Conducting a DDoS attack is a criminal offense. We always report an attack. And in good cooperation with the cybercrime team, this has led to a quick arrest, ”says Logius (the management organization). The investigation was carried out by the cyber crime team of the Central Netherlands police, which specializes in investigating and combating DDoS attacks. The investigation was led by a public prosecutor from The Hague. He will later decide on the Easter weekend whether the suspect will be brought before the examining magistrate in The Hague.
On March 19, the above sites were unavailable for several hours. In a DDoS attack, servers of a website are bombarded with data traffic. This could cause the servers to fail. Visitors can then (almost) no longer reach the website. Especially in these times where many emergency regulations and other emergency regulations are made accessible via this site. The arrested man is formally suspected of having compromised vital reporting that would compromise safety.
MijnOverheid is a kind of digital letterbox where citizens receive mail from the government, for example about their tax returns or child benefit. They also find personal information here, such as registration with the municipality or the date of the MOT.
“By flattening a website like this, you are denying citizens access to their personal data and important government information. We take this very high, especially now that the corona crisis is causing additional uncertainty and a great need for information for many people. We want to protect people and companies and make it increasingly difficult for cyber criminals to carry out a DDoS attack, "said Jeroen Niessen, head of the cyber crime team of the Central Netherlands police."
Prevent DDoS attacks
Last week, the Central Netherlands police also shut down 15 so-called booters. Buying DDoS attacks from so-called booters is a common way to cause DDoS attacks. Booters are a form of online service where customers can use an infrastructure of (mostly) hacked computers to attack a target. In most cases, offering and using booters is therefore a criminal offense. “Many users don't realize this. Many DDoS attacks are committed by young people. For the kick, out of boredom or as a challenge; to see if it succeeds in taking down a target. Perpetrators underestimate the consequences of these attacks for victims. Moreover, they do not realize that the police are able to find them and that they are facing a penalty and a substantial claim for damages. ”
15 booters down in 1 week
In addition to tackling people who carry out a DDoS attack, we also focus on tackling the booter websites. The cybercrime team in the Central Netherlands uses innovative methods to detect such booters. Last week, 15 booters were blacked out at the request of the police. We work together with external parties such as hosters, registrars for international police forces, Europol, Interpol and the FBI.
“With preventive actions, we want to protect people as much as possible against DDoS attacks. By taking booters and their domain names offline, we make it difficult for cyber criminals. We have now put quite a few on black. If they pop up elsewhere, we will immediately work on it again. Our goal is to seize more and more booters, ”said Jeroen Niessen of the police.
What can you do against DDoS attacks?
A DDoS attack is getting easier and cheaper; this means that more and more companies, organizations and private individuals are at risk of becoming victims. However, there are things you can do yourself to protect against DDoS attacks.
Protect your business
To prevent your company from falling victim to a DDoS attack, or to minimize its consequences, coordinate your security measures with your system administrator, service provider or an external ICT service provider. Provide DDOS mitigating measures through a specialized organization. If you have become a victim of a DDoS attack, please contact the police. Do not give cyber criminals money, as this may seem like a quick solution to get your site back up and running, you run the risk of not
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