On Friday, the police arrested a 19-year-old man from Breda to shut down the government websites MijnOverheid.nl and Overheid.nl. Due to a ddos attack on March 19, the websites were off the air for a few hours.
In a ddos attack, servers of a website are bombarded with large amounts of data traffic, causing them to collapse and making the visit difficult or impossible for regular visitors. Conducting a ddos attack is a criminal offense.
The arrested man is formally suspected of having compromised vital reporting that would compromise safety.
MijnOverheid is a kind of digital letterbox where citizens receive mail from the government, for example about their tax returns or child benefit. They also find personal information here, such as registration with the municipality or the date of the MOT.
'Denies citizens access to important government information'
"By flattening a website like this, you deprive citizens of access to their personal data and important government information. Especially now that the corona crisis is causing extra uncertainty and a great need for information for many people, we take this very high", says Jeroen Niessen, head of the cyber crime team of the Central Netherlands police.
The other affected website, Overheid.nl, is frequently visited in connection with the corona crisis. "Making this site available to citizens is critical to the country, especially during these times," police said.
Logius, the administrator of the government websites, has reported the ddos attacks. Later in the Easter weekend it will be decided whether the suspect will be brought before the examining magistrate in The Hague.
See also: MijnOverheid website shut down for two hours due to ddos attack