A #cyberattack took down most of the Dutch government’s websites on Tuesday, it has been confirmed.
The attack, which also took down some private sites, highlighted the vulnerability of public infrastructure.
It came as the US beefed up its defences, and followed warnings that sites belonging to the French authorities had been targeted.
Dutch MPs demanded that the government ensures state sites were capable of withstanding similar attacks in future.
In a statement, the Dutch government confirmed that it had been the victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which servers are flooded with traffic, causing the sites to fail to load.
Investigators were looking into the attack “together with the people from the National Centre for Cyber-Security”, said Rimbert Kloosterman, an official at the Dutch Government Information Service, which runs the affected websites.
In a statement, the government said that the sites had gone down at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT) on Tuesday and “lasted into the evening”.
Other websites, including GeenStijl.nl, a popular portal that mocks politicians and religions, had been hit by the DDoS, said Mr Kloosterman.
Communications provider Telford had also been affected.
The complexity and size of the government’s many websites had rendered the back-up useless, he added.
The problem affected most of th