Dutch Defense Minister admits there is a cyber war with Russia

Interfax reports that, while speaking on Dutch national television, the head of the Netherland’s Ministry of Defense, Ank Bijleveld agreed with the statement that her country is conducting a cyber war with Russia.

When asked if the current situation between the Netherlands and Russia could be described as a cyber war, she replied, "Yes, that is the case."

Bijleveld added that after the detention of Russian intelligence officers, the Dutch Ministry of Defense decided to increase its cyber defense budget. “We need to get rid of naivety in this area and take measures,” believes the head of the department.

On October 4, the Netherlands Ministry of Defense disclosed information about four Russian GRU officers who were involved in a cyber attack on the laboratory of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Investigation Group for the MH17 (JIT) crash.

The Netherlands detained four Russians - Aleksei Morenets, Evgenii Serebriakov, Oleg Sotnikov and Alexey Minin. According to the Netherlands authorities, they are all GRU officers who arrived in the country with the aim to hack into the OPCW computer networks. In 2014, the Russian GRU also tried to steal information about the crash of the Malaysian Boeing over the Donbas. "The GRU deployed hacking equipment in close proximity to the lab’s WIFI network," said the department.

On April 13, Russian spies parked their rented Citroen close to the OPCW building. Using spy equipment, they attempted to gain illegal access to the organization’s network, which at the time was investigating Skripals’ poisoning and a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Duma.

The Insider news outlet found out that the GRU military registered 305 employees’ cars to the address of the unit associated with hackers, among them was Aleksei Morenets who was identified by European special services.

  Netherlands, Russia, Skripal case, OPCW