Paris: When a large-scale cyber attack this month destroyed everything from Swedish supermarkets to New Zealand kindergartens, a group of Dutch ethical hackers collectively sighed. They are about to stop it.
If the Dutch Institute for Vulnerability and Disclosure (DIVD) sounds obscure, it is consistent with its cautious presence on the Internet.
Since 2019, this volunteer army of unpaid technical geeks has quietly prevented hundreds of cyber attacks by discovering vulnerabilities in websites and software that could be exploited by hackers.
“You can think of us as a voluntary fire brigade,” DIVD Chairman Victor Gevers said in an interview at his home in The Hague, with a dog barking on his ankle.
“Your house is on fire, flames emerge from inside, and then people with Dutch accents randomly appear and start to put out the fire.”
The bearded hacker refused to disclose his age, but he has been making these “responsible disclosures” for most of the past two decades.
Most famously, he successfully accessed Donald Trump’s Twitter account-not once, but twice.