Dutch government website outage caused by cyber-attack

Cyber attackers caused the outage of Dutch government websites and a prominent satirical news portal for most of Tuesday, a Dutch government official said on Wednesday.

Cyber attackers caused the outage of Dutch government websites and a prominent satirical news portal for most of Tuesday, a Dutch government official said on Wednesday.

The outage affected most of the central government's main websites but phones and emergency communication channels remained online. Other websites, including GeenStijl.nl, which mocks politicians and religions, were also hit by the "distributed denial of service" attack, Rimbert Kloosterman said.

"Our people are investigating the attack together with the people from the National Centre for Cyber Security," said Kloosterman, an official at Government Information Service, which runs the websites.

The attack affected the network of hosting provider Prolocation, which could not immediately provide details. The outage began at 0900 GMT on Tuesday and lasted for more than seven hours.

Just a day before, The Newsweek Twitter feed was briefly hacked purportedly by a group associated with the Islamic State. Several posts to Newsweek’s Twitter feed referenced Cyber Caliphate, a hacker group affiliated with the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the hacking.

Newsweek did not say how the account was accessed. Grant Burningham, front page editor of Newsweek, said that the attack was “a pretty garden-variety attack” but did not elaborate.

The breaches are the latest hacks of high-profile social media accounts. In January, the New York Post and UPI’s Twitter feed, as well as Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US military’s Central Command, were hacked.

With inputs from Reuters

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