Hackers violated them servers belong to the Dutch Research Council (NWO), with the result that the organization is forced to make its network unavailable and to suspend the distribution of grants for the near future.
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) invests in research and research infrastructure to increase quality and innovation in science. For this very reason, it is an important entity in the Netherlands, making annual investments of around one billion euros. Particularly important is the fact that the organization funds thousands of researchers in universities and institutes of the country, promoting quality and innovation in science.
The agency reported the security incident through a press release issued on February 14th. However, it provided little information about attack, stating only that its servers have been compromised and that its network is not accessible.
According to BleepingComputer, there is no time frame for system recovery, but the organization is working to resolve the issues raised by the attack as quickly as possible.
The type of attack or the malware used by hackers.
With its network currently down, the applications of the NWO remain unavailable. These include the service e-mail Outlook and online resources from the two NWO entities, the Dutch Educational Research Initiative (NRO) and the National Government Authority for SIA Research.
The Dutch Research Council noted that its site was not affected by the attack. The external server hosting the ISAAC application and the reporting system used by applicants to submit their proposals also does not appear to be "infected". However, the ISAAC server has been shut down until the investigation removes any suspicion of possible malware infection.
In addition, the NWO explained that the rounds with deadlines to come soon have been postponed and the evaluation of overdue grant proposals has stopped.
The agency also said it would not provide further details about the attack and how it happened, adding that research and recovery work on the systems were under way.
It is worth noting that the Dutch Research Council is the second public body to have invested in science and research, which has been hit by cyber attacks in less than a month.