Cybercrime cases continue to rise as Belgium becomes most recent victim

The company that provides internet services for Belgium’s parliament, government departments, universities and scientific institutions has suffered a cyberattack.

Belnet noted in a statement the attack was still in progress and was taking place in successive waves. However, a later statement the same day said the attack was diminishing but provided no further information. Belnet has around 200 customers.

According to Belgian media, online services for coronavirus vaccination centres were partly disrupted and prosecutors’ offices in Brussels underwent some problems.

Belnet director Dirk Haex commented, “This is the first time that we’ve faced such a gigantic attack. It is tough to counter an attack like this.

“Everything reached a crescendo around noon. The point of such an attack is to disable the system, not to steal information.”

However, Haex claimed it was too early to say who was behind the attack.

This recent attack in Belgium follows the US SolarWinds cyberattack that happened late last year, which saw state-sponsored Russian actors hack into US government departments.

President Biden’s administration recently announced the roll-out of a 100-day plan aimed at rapidly strengthening US power grid cybersecurity.

The head of GCHQ also recently claimed the UK and its allies face a ‘moment of reckoning’ where the global direction of cybersecurity may not be ‘shaped and controlled by the west’ as challenges from Russia and China become stronger.

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