The Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner has given a press conference in the early hours of Saturday morning after an internet security firm appears to have been hacked by Iranian hackers.
The Dutch internet solicitors' firm Diginotar supplies certification for secure sites which guarantee their reliability. However, Iranian hackers have reportedly managed to surpass the certification system so that the Iranian authorities can read gmail and google messages of people in Iran.
According to a computer expert on Dutch public broadcaster NOS, the government can no longer guarantee the security of its websites. This means, for instance, that the internet identification site DigID is no longer reliable, which citizens use for various government services.
Government sites have not been shut down, but visitors to the sites will be warned that the sites are not secure.
The Dutch authorities were informed by an Iranian source. Analysts say that the faultly electronic certificate was issued by Diginotar on 11 July.
The minister has announced measures to hand over control of internet security to a different firm, which may take a few days, according to the minister.
(c) Radio Netherlands Worldwide