Flemish employment agency victim of cyberattack

The Flemish employment agency VDAB has been the victim of a cyberattack. Hackers have yesterday/Tuesday bombarded the systems of the agency for hours, overloading the website and other applications. Fortunately, no personal data were captured.

It’s been years since the VDAB had to deal with a cyberattack of a similar level as yesterday’s attack. The previous time was in 2019.

It’s not yet clear what the intention of the hackers was, but it seems that yesterday’s attack was carried out from outside Europe. The VDAB possesses a lot of sensitive personal data to carry out its mission. But no personal data were captured during the attack, assured the agency, and so the VDAB doesn’t need to deal with a ransom or other blackmail scheme.

Since Tuesday night, the website and all internal and external applications have been working as normal again. The VDAB's IT team, together with its telecom provider Telenet, was able to effectively repel the cyberattack. They amongst others installed digital filter blocks that filter the traffic to the site. Visitors to the site will not be affected, according to the VDAB.

“To the people who have been inconvenienced in the past 24 hours, we would like to apologise for the trouble,” said managing director Wim Adriaens. "We made every effort to respond quickly and appropriately. Meanwhile, everything is back to normal, and we can assure everyone that no break-in occurred or data was captured."

“We do everything possible to guarantee the security of our website and the processing of personal and other data,” added Adriaens. Jobseekers or employers who would still be inconvenienced using the website can call the number 0800 30 700 or contact a mediator.

#FlandersNewsService | Entrance door of the VDAB administration in Brussels © BELGA PHOTO BELGIAN_FREELANCE

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