The Dutch government is phasing out the use of anti-virus software made by Russian firm Kaspersky Lab amid fears of possible spying, despite vehement denials by the Moscow-based cyber security company. The Dutch Justice and Security ministry said in a statement late Monday the decision had been taken as a “precautionary measure” in order “to guarantee national security”. But Kaspersky Lab, whose anti-virus software is installed on some 400 million computers worldwide, said Tuesday it was “very disappointed” by the move. The firm, which is suspected by US authorities of helping the Kremlin’s espionage efforts, also announced Tuesday that it was moving its core infrastructure and operations to Switzerland.
Articles about voting issues in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands’ current election process – with manual voting, polling stations that stay open for long hours, and manual vote counting – is no longer feasible and can give rise to doubts about results’ reliability. The association of Dutch municipalities VNG and the Dutch association of civil affairs NVVB therefore composed an ‘Election Agenda 2021’ with several proposals for making this process more efficient, NOS reports. The Agenda is focused on 2021, because that’s when the next parliamentary election is scheduled. The agenda will be presented at a NVVB conference on Wednesday and Thursday.
Dutch citizens with dual nationality must lose their voting rights and must not be eligible for political positions in the Netherlands, according to PVV leader Geert Wilders. This is in the interests of “the Netherlands’ survival”, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf. “The Netherlands is our country. It must be run by Dutch, who are elected by Dutch. By Dutch wo do not even have the appearance of double loyalty”, he said to the newspaper.
The software that will be used to count votes in the upcoming municipal elections is still not safe. Hackers can use the vulnerable software to influence the election results, experts that examined the software told RTL Nieuws. Ethical hacker Sijmen Ruwhof discovered more than 50 vulnerabilities in the software. He calls ten of them ‘high risk’. Last year Ruwhof also concluded that the software – called OSV – is vulnerable to attacks. “The average iPad is more secure than the Dutch voting system”, Ruwhof said at the time.This prompted former Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk to order the votes in the parliamentary election counted by hand.
Since at least 2010, the Russian state-sponsored hacking group Cozy Bear has been implicated in cyber attacks around the world, penetrating networks belonging to the U.S. State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Democratic National Committee, and targeting other systems around the world from Norway to Brazil. Their targets have often seemingly struggled to keep up with the attacks–the Pentagon in 2015 reportedly took thousands of unclassified email accounts offline for at least 10 days to recover from a hack by the group, and Cozy Bear is said to have had access to DNC systems for about a year before being discovered. But recent reports reveal that the Russian group, believed to be tied to the Russian FSB–an intelligence bureau seen as today’s successor to the Soviet-era KGB–was itself the victim of a startlingly successful hack, carried out by a much smaller nation.
The Dutch intelligence service passed on “crucial evidence” to the FBI about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported Friday, citing the results of an investigation. Hackers from the Dutch intelligence service known as the AIVD gained access to the network of Russian hacking group “Cozy Bear” in the summer of 2014. While monitoring the group’s activities, the AIVD learned of attacks launched on the Democratic Party, according to six unidentified American and Dutch sources cited by the investigation. The information provided by the Dutch gave grounds for the FBI to start an investigation into the influence of Russian interference on the election race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to the newspaper report based on a collaborative investigation with Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal, a journalist at Dutch news program Nieuwsuur. A spokeswoman for the AIVD declined to comment on the report when contacted by phone on Friday.
Netherlands: How to hack the upcoming Dutch elections – and how hackers could have hacked all Dutch elections since 2009 | Weblog Sijmen Ruwhof
As everybody has read in the newspapers, the recent American elections involved multiple and severe hacking attacks. Tens of thousands of confidential and private emails from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were leaked via WikiLeaks. It is thought by many that this helped Trump to win the election. Journalists from Dutch TV station RTL contacted me last week and wanted to know whether the Dutch elections could be hacked. They had been tipped off that the current Dutch electoral software used weak cryptography in certain parts of its system (SHA1). I was stunned and couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Are we still relying on computers for our voting process? The Dutch government banned electronic voting for cyber-security reasons on June 4th, 2009. We returned to using red pencil and paper and have done so ever since. … Seems pretty solid right with all the visible paper? Hold on!
Some 40 percent of Dutch voters with visual impairment or with mental disabilities had trouble in the polling station during the parliamentary election in March, according to a study by the College of Human Rights. The Netherlands must do more to help these vulnerable groups cast their vote, the college said, according to RTL Nieuws. Most of the trouble arose in reading and filling out the ballot paper, and reading practical information, according to the study.
Russia tried to influence last month’s Dutch election by spreading fake news, according to the annual report of the Dutch intelligence service AIVD, published Tuesday. Rob Bertholee, the head of AIVD, told local media that Moscow did not succeed in “substantially influencing” the election process. “I think they have tried to push voters in the wrong direction by spreading news items that are not true, or partially true,” Bertholee said, without mentioning specific examples.
Netherlands: Populists Appear to Fall Short in Dutch Election, Amid High Turnout | The New York Times
European populism faced its first big electoral test since last year’s “Brexit” referendum and Donald J. Trump’s election. Turnout was the highest in decades. The main exit poll indicated that the largest party in Parliament will remain the center-right party of Mark Rutte, the prime minister, with 31 of 150 seats. He has moved rightward in recent months, making tougher pronouncements on immigration but steering clear of the xenophobic and borderline racist statements of other parties. The far-right populist party of Geert Wilders gained seats, but did not perform as strongly as expected. Exit polls suggested that it was tied for second place with the conservative party Christian Democratic Appeal and the center-left pro-European party Democrats 66 — each with 19 seats. Also making a relatively strong showing were the left-leaning Greens, with 16 seats. The leftist, euroskeptic Socialist Party is projected to have 14 seats.