Computer Crime Research Center


Dutch business increasingly targeted by cybercrime

Date: October 14, 2004
By: Joe Figueiredo

Dutch companies, especially banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, are increasingly becoming the target of computer viruses and break-ins, according to a recent report published by consultants Ernst &Young.

The number of companies in the Netherlands whose computers have been infected with a virus (such as the notorious Sasser worm and Netsky-B e-mail virus) has risen 134 per cent within the last eighteen months. In April 2003, twelve per cent of Dutch companies had a virus problem; by September 2004, this figure had jumped to 28 per cent.

In addition, Ernst &Young reported that five per cent of the companies it investigated - almost three times as many as last year - had a problem with hacking.

People tend to laugh off the damage hackers can inflict, according to Jacob Verschuur, an Erst &Young analyst: “Everyone imagines that computer nerds are fairly harmless, but they are underestimated. During the last twelve months, 34,285 companies [had their computers] hacked.”

To further underscore the severity of the problem, Mr Verschuur points to a recent incident in which the hapless Dutch public prosecutor, Joost Tonino (whose discarded personal computer found outside his home revealed confidential information), had his e-mailbox broken into and its contents published on, a weblog site.

Dutch police and the public prosecution service say that cybercrime is more prevalent in the Netherlands than is often revealed. Despite it being an offence, cybercrime is seldom reported (and thus prosecuted) for two main reasons: business victims are often too preoccupied in restoring their computer system (which often drives their business); and they are also reluctant to attract bad publicity.
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2005-09-01 20:54:38 - Very nice Pesho
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