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Hackers infiltrated Home Affairs network and used it for two years

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The Belgian federal public service Home Affairs has become a victim of hackers. The attackers were present in the network for two years, writes the public service on its website. The State Department thinks it’s espionage.

In March this year, the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB) found “subtle traces of suspicious acts” on the public service network. After analysis, it appeared that suspicious actions were already taking place in the computer systems in April 2019.

According to the public service, this is a very complex and advanced cyber attack.

“The complexity of the attack indicates an actor with extensive cyber capabilities and resources. The perpetrators acted deliberately, which suggests espionage.”

The CCB informs the Belgian broadcaster VRT on Wednesday that the attackers had access to “any local data”. Home Affairs includes databases of the Police Services, Immigration and the issue of identity cards.

How the invaders entered and where the attacks came from is not clear at the moment. The investigation is ongoing. According to the CCB, no sensitive data was captured.

“There was no classified information on the network,” says the CCB. “It concerns internal documents from Home Affairs that may have been available to the other party.”

In the meantime, the vulnerabilities have been removed from the networks and the attackers have been denied access, reports the Belgian public service. The security of ICT systems will also be improved.

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