Russian military intelligence hacks Dutch routers

A unit of the Russian military intelligence service GROe has hacked routers of Dutch private individuals and small and medium-sized companies. The Military Intelligence Service (MIVD) has discovered this, writes de Volkskrant.

The routers are part of a worldwide attack network and can, for example, destroy or paralyze the network of ministries. It is estimated that there are thousands of hacked devices in the hands of the Russian unit worldwide. In the Netherlands, this would involve several dozen routers.

The hacked devices are more advanced routers of computers often located at small businesses. The Russian unit will take over the routers and can monitor and control them, investigative journalist Huib Modderkolk told NOS Radio 1 Journaal.

According to him, this unit was created to sabotage: “It is also called the most dangerous hacking group in the world.”
‘We know what you’re doing’

The MIVD discovered the digital attack because the service saw many Dutch IP addresses. According to Modderkolk, the victims often do not realize that they have been hacked. By accepting the router’s default settings or using a simple password, these routers are easy to hack. Individuals and companies have now been informed by the MIVD.

It is striking that the MIVD makes this information public: “They hope for more awareness that this is actually going on, but the aim is also to let the Russians know: ‘we know what you are doing'”. According to Modderkolk, this is a development of recent years, and the British and Americans are also increasingly disclosing this type of sensitive information.
Disinformation and cyber threats

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) has already warned of disinformation and cyber threats in connection with the war in Ukraine. These cyber attacks could affect the communication system of banks or hospitals, among others. At the moment there are no specific threats, but due to the rapid developments of the war, this could change quickly.

It is not clear whether the hack of the Russian hacker group has to do with the war in Ukraine.

Robin Edgar

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