Digital government services such as Tax-on-Web and MyMinFin have been seriously disrupted all afternoon? The cause is a cyber attack on Belnet.
Belnet reported the first problems with their network in the afternoon via their status page and around 1 pm the government network operator also sent out a tweet to report the technical problems. Initial reporting quickly revealed that it was a DDoS network that hit the entire network. A Belnet spokesperson confirmed to DataNews that the attack was not aimed at a specific customer.
These customers include various government websites and services as well as universities that rely on the Belnet network. As a result of the attack, these services were unavailable or limited for a certain period of time. Problems have been reported by the Department of Justice and Defense, the eHealth platform and digital government agencies such as Tax-on-Web and MyMinFin. Even the federal parliament felt the consequences of the cyber attack. Hearings that were to take place this afternoon had to be postponed due to network problems.
Belnet’s intervention teams are still hard at work to resolve the attack and restore their network to efficient operation. Problems can therefore persist for a while. Through de statuspagina the operator provides regular updates.
What is a DDoS attack?
DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. In these attack methods, a network of computers will send massive traffic to a network server to overload that network. Hackers can join forces for this, but one hacker can also create a bot network to set up the attack. A properly executed DDoS attack can therefore seriously disrupt a network without the hackers having to enter the network.
Belnet is of course aware of the fact that DDoS attacks are a frequently occurring attack method. An initial analysis shows that the scale of this attack was “of an unprecedented scale” and the preventive protection measures proved insufficient. Belnet will investigate the attack further to find out what exactly went wrong.
Do you want to learn more about DDoS attacks and how you can protect your website against them? You can read it in this background piece.