Reducing abuse at Dutch hosting companies
Various sector organisations such as DINL, DHPA, ISPConnect, NBIP and other interested parties are actively participating in various public-private initiatives to control online abuse. There are enough examples of this: projects such as ‘Platform informatie veiligheid’ (PIV), the workgroup NTD, the Abuse Internet Exchange / AbuseHUB, Abuse.io – to name but a few.
The use of AbuseHUB by access providers, for example, has led to a considerable decrease in botnet activities originating from consumer equipment. Nevertheless, online abuse in the Netherlands has hardly decreased yet.
Nobody is immune
Research from Delft University of Technology has revealed that at least 40% of online abuse originates from the networks of hosting companies and cloud providers. This concerns Botnet activity, abuse and CAM (Child Abuse Material, i.e. child pornography). Insecure file shares, unpatched servers and vulnerabilities in many types of platform cause this. Unbeknown to hosting companies, these vulnerabilities are being exploited to upload illegal content, and for botnets and other illegal online activities.
So contrary to popular opinion, abuse is not caused by a small minority. Instead it occurs everywhere. Most hosting companies are scarcely aware of the situation. Despite the facts, they think that their networks are clean and that the abuse must originate from elsewhere. However, you cannot get around the facts. Almost nobody is immune!
Improvements are desperately needed
Unfortunately, the Netherlands therefore scores high on international abuse lists. Despite all the initiatives we have taken, that ranking is still too high in our opinion. This gives the Netherlands a bad reputation, which can damage our position as a digital portal and a safe place for online business.
That is making the government nervous. During and since the 2017 election campaign, there have been regular calls to curb freedom of the Internet. As a sector, we believe that we can take responsibility for clean networks and servers.
So there is just one possible answer to this problem: our performance as a sector in controlling abuse must be drastically improved. Abuseplatform.nl is a joint step in this direction for and by the Internet sector.
Abuseplatform.nl is part of the project Abuse 2.0, an initiative of AbuseIO, ECP, DHPA, DINL, ISPConnect, NBIP, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Ministry of Justice and Security, SIDN and many others.