The government is not taking any diplomatic or legal action in response to the ransomware attacks on the Dutch transport and logistics sector. The attacks are most likely committed with a criminal motive. It is also difficult to identify the culprit with certainty.
That writes Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra in a letter to the House of Representatives.
European countries target of series of cyber attacks
At the end of January and the beginning of February of this year, several ransomware attacks took place in the Dutch and European transport and logistics sector. In a week, 17 storage depots of petroleum, gas and other chemical products in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were hit by digital attacks. Port cities and storage depots such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Antwerp and Ghent were the targets of hackers.
Loading and unloading was delayed due to the cyber attacks. In order not to endanger the oil supply, the German branch of Shell was forced to temporarily divert the oil supply. According to a spokesman for the storage terminals of Evos, the supply of petroleum and other fuels was not at issue.
Swissport was also hit by hackers. The attackers shut down part of the international IT infrastructure. The Swiss aviation service provider was able to continue to offer its ground services, but travellers on international flights were affected by delays. Broshuis, a Dutch company specializing in special and container transport, was also the target of a ransomware attack.
No coordinated attack
All in all, cyberattacks caused a lot of headaches. Not only at the companies themselves, but