MIVD boss: Meet without a smartphone, risk of espionage too great

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Jan Swillens, the director of the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD), advises large organizations not to meet on the table with a smartphone or tablet. The risk of espionage is then too great, he says in an interview published Monday with The Telegraph.

“I don’t think a board of directors of a large organization should meet about trade secrets with the smartphone or iPad on the table anymore,” said Swillens.

In the Netherlands, the threat is underestimated. The MIVD director does not yet call cybersecurity in the Netherlands good enough. “Knowledge is being stolen, vital systems and infrastructure are being attacked and attempts are being made to influence our society through disinformation.”

Swillens cannot comment on recent major cases that attempted to steal information. He also does not explain how hackers can eavesdrop on organizations via smartphones.

In 2018, spies from the Russian intelligence service were caught red-handed by the MIVD. At the time, the spies tried to penetrate the Wi-Fi network of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The four Russians were therefore imposed sanctions this year.

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