2 min Security

Minister of Defence: ‘The Netherlands is in cyber war with Russia’.

Minister of Defence: ‘The Netherlands is in cyber war with Russia’.

Yesterday morning Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld was present at WNL On Sunday. During the talk show she told us that the Netherlands is involved in a cyber war with Russia. People are only naive when they think they’re not.

Bijleveld was present at the program to tell about the foiled hacking attempt that took place last April at the OPCW in The Hague. The laboratory investigating the use of chemical weapons was attacked by four Russian secret agents who tried to hack into the servers. However, they were arrested before they could carry out their plans. It was a way for the Dutch government to send out a public signal to the international community.

Cyber warfare

During the interview, Bijleveld said that the way wars are fought has changed. Russia is now trying to steer election results and actively steer public debate. This is not only the case in the United States, where an investigation is still being carried out into Russia’s management of the presidential elections.

The Dutch relationship with Russia has deteriorated considerably in recent years. When in 2014 flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine with a Russian BUK rocket, this already led to great tensions. These have only increased recently, partly due to the progress of the MH17 investigation, in which more and more evidence is being found for the Russian attack. But Russia is not the only country that is so active in cyber-espionage, the Chinese government is also busy with it,

That is why, according to Bijleveld, the Dutch government has made an offer to NATO to deploy Dutch cyber soldiers. The possibility of doing this is being actively explored, as well as what could be done by the Netherlands on an offensive level.

In a later statement, the Minister states that the Netherlands is not directly at war. “I didn’t use that term. I’ve indicated that warfare changes. That’s what you need to prepare for. But despite the fact that the Netherlands is not at war with Russia from a legal point of view, it looks a lot like it. That Russia is influencing elections “is also a form of warfare.”

The broadcast of WNL On Sunday can be viewed on the site of the NPO. The segment on Russia starts around 13:30.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.