Sluices, pumping stations & bridges poorly protected

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Many locks, pumping stations, sewage pumps and bridges in the Netherlands appear to be poorly protected. The public TV programme EénVandaag showed in a documentary on Tuesday evening how easy it is to control the sewer pumps and pumping stations of the municipality of Veere remotely via internet.

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism has already warned about the vulnerability of the Scada systems that the municipalities use. Sometimes you don't even need a password to enter such systems.

Eric Luiijf of the research organisation TNO stressed that the danger doesn't necessarily come from hackers:

The political parties D66 Liberal Democrat and VVD Conservative want the Minister of Security and Justice, Ivo Opstelten, to explain the fact that it is childishly simple to operate sluices, pumping stations, sewage pumps and bridges over the internet. The Netherlands has a large number of such installations as much of the country lies below sea level.

The National Cyber Security Centre NCSC already warned in December about the vulnerability of the so-called Scada systems. A spokeswoman for the Centre confirmed to EénVandaag that they have had contact with the municipality of Veere and given it advice about solving the security problems.

The municipality of Veere said tonight that the password has been changed in the meantime, and it has spoken to the company that protects the properties about the fact that the passwords are too easy to hack.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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