Hack attack forces DigiNotar bankruptcy

Summary:Dutch certificate authority DigiNotar has been forced into bankruptcy after a hack attack destroyed trust in its certificates.DigiNotar parent company Vasco announced that DigiNotar would be liquidated in a statement on Tuesday.

Dutch certificate authority DigiNotar has been forced into bankruptcy after a hack attack destroyed trust in its certificates.

DigiNotar parent company Vasco announced that DigiNotar would be liquidated in a statement on Tuesday. DigiNotar used to provide certificates for the Dutch government, which completely revoked trust in the certificate authority after a hack attack.

DigiNotar filed for voluntary bankruptcy on Monday in a court in Haarlem. The court appointed a trustee and a judge to liquidate DigiNotar, and declared the company bankrupt on Tuesday.

"We plan to cooperate with the trustee and the judge to the fullest extent reasonably practicable to bring the affairs of DigiNotar to an appropriate conclusion for its employees and customers," said Vasco chief executive T Kendall Hunt. "We also plan to cooperate with the Dutch government in its investigation of the person or persons responsible for the attack on DigiNotar."

The DigiNotar attack, allegedly perpetrated by the 'Comodohacker', may have exposed around 300,000 Iranians to GMail and Google Docs interception. False DigiNotar certificates were issued after an attack on the company, causing a number of organisations to revoke trust in DigiNotar.

The company's certificates were used by the Dutch government until the attack was publicised, but were then suspended.

"We are working to quantify the damages caused by the hacker’s intrusion into DigiNotar’s system and will provide an estimate of the range of losses as soon as possible," said Vasco chief financial officer Cliff Bown.

A report by Dutch security company Fox-IT alleged a number of security deficiencies at DigiNotar, including lack of separation of sensitive networks.

Topics: Security

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Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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