116 Hackers Test Security of Digital Systems of Municipality of The Hague

03 okt 2023
Auteur: HSD Foundation

Today, the digital systems of the municipality of The Hague were tested by 116 ethical hackers. During the six-hour hacking competition, 65 unique vulnerability reports were submitted. Six reports were high-risk vulnerabilities. Another six reports were resolved during the day itself. Many reports were related to a web application security flaw.


The Hague city hall looked different than usual. People who came to apply for a new passport encountered 116 hackers with a desk, laptop and club mate. Both professional hackers and students had signed up. With Hâck The Hague, the municipality of The Hague wants to ensure that its digital systems are even better protected. That's why they invite ethical hackers who try to penetrate the municipality's computer systems.


During the competition, the hackers help to discover, assess and resolve weaknesses in systems. This is important, because cyber criminals can abuse these vulnerabilities. For example, by breaking into the system and changing or stealing data for criminal activities. All ethical hackers had to agree to special rules. For example, it was mandatory to report all findings to the organisation.



Deputy mayor Saskia Bruines: “As a city of peace and justice, we are the 'home' of many international institutions. The Hague is also the seat of parliament and government. This gives us a special position when it comes to security. It is not without reason that a cluster of organisations and companies that deal with physical and digital security has emerged here. It is a big step to unleash 116 hackers on your digital infrastructure. But we are doing it for the fifth time. This once again provides us with several findings that we can start working on immediately. Some points have already been resolved on the day itself.”




Tips for residents and entrepreneurs

Residents and entrepreneurs were also given tips today to arm themselves against digital criminals. For example, it is wise to use a password manager to save different login details, regularly perform software updates and think carefully about what information you share on social media. More information can also be found at veiliginternetten.nl.



Several vulnerabilities were found and 12 prizes were awarded in the categories Most Creative Hack, Most Sophisticated Hack, Most Impactful Hack and The Hackademic Award. In each category, a 1st prize of €2.500, a 2nd prize of €1.250 and a 3rd prize of €625 was won.



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