The Dutch government Tuesday sought to contain a hacking scandal officials believe originated in Iran that has forced segments of the country to return to the fax and paper age.
Prosecutors said they would investigate the company that was providing digital security for DigiD, a Dutch government site that allows citizens to access a large number of services, including filing taxes, signing up for university and donating organs. The provider—U.S.-owned, Netherlands-based DigiNotar—was dismissed by the government last week as officials disclosed the hacking.
In July, DigiNotar suffered the theft of hundreds of certificate codes used to prove a website's authenticity to viewers. Armed with these codes, hackers can secure security authentication for bogus websites, from which they can steal data and personal information entered by users.
The Dutch government said it planned to review the authentication system due to the hacking scandal. "We need to consider if the system as we know it is the best one available," said Vincent van Steen, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior.
In what is shaping up as one of the most damaging hacking cases for a single country, courts have advised lawyers to switch to fax and old-fashioned paper mail instead of email.
Lawyers can't access the Dutch Bar Association's Intranet, and have been told by courts to switch to fax machines and mail until the problems are solved.
"Most of our work is digital. But now we have to use notes, which is like a step back in time," said Diederik Maat, a lawyer in the northern Netherlands. "For courts and law firms, this is an administrative nightmare."
Read more on the forced return to paper and pencil at the Wall Street Journal.