WhatsApp accounts of MPs hacked

Last year, criminals hacked into WhatsApp accounts of at least five MPs, one MPs, top officials at the Ministry of Economy, and employees of almost all ministries. This is reported by the General Court of Auditors, which, in addition to the annual figures, also examines the information security of the national government.

According to the Court of Auditors, the hackers were about money, but it is conceivable that it could have been information. With hacked accounts, attempts were made to scam contacts by asking them to transfer money urgently.

18,000 people

The Court of Auditors has also encountered a potential data breach at Foreign Affairs. Personal data of people who were abroad during the coronacrisis and wanted to return to the Netherlands could be viewed by too many employees. These are names, addresses, bank details and medical information of more than 18,000 people.

The data should only have been accessible to a small group, but could also be viewed by many other employees of the Ministry. Foreign Affairs has posted the data breach and research has shown that only authorised persons have access to the data.

Embassy Twitter account

After this incident, further investigation showed that there was no more in order at Foreign Affairs. In an ICT system, almost all employees were able to find confidential documents by searching for terms such as private and secret. Among other things, minutes of foreign posts and credentials of an embassys Twitter account were on display.

Furthermore, the General Court of Auditors is critical of the use of video calling apps in ministries, which were used much more frequently due to the coronacrisis last year. In many cases, measures to safely use apps like Microsoft Teams and WebEx have not been looked too late.

Six months ago, the Court concluded that government officials and administrators share confidential information through apps and devices that are not intended to do so and are not secure.