Vici talent programme continues despite NWO hack

ZonMw able to assess shared grant requests

Vici talent programme continues despite NWO hack

In spite of the hack, several subsidy procedures at the Dutch Research Council (NWO) will still go ahead. It concerns the procedures in partnership with ZonMw, which hasn’t been hacked.

2 March om 15:02 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 2 March 2021
om 15:25 uur.
March 2 at 15:02 PM.
Last modified on March 2, 2021
at 15:25 PM.


Door Giulia Fabrizi

2 March om 15:02 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 2 March 2021
om 15:25 uur.

By Giulia Fabrizi

March 2 at 15:02 PM.
Last modified on March 2, 2021
at 15:25 PM.

Giulia Fabrizi

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The annual Vici grants planned for March will be evaluated, among others. The Rubicon, scheduled for April, will also still go ahead. Both are partnerships with ZonMw, the financier for innovation and research in the healthcare sector. While the NWO portion of the subsidy procedure will not go ahead, the ZonMw portion will.

It also concerns several programmes from the Dutch Research Agenda’s programme line 2. The NWO says the processes on the ZonMw systems can still go ahead. Anything that goes through the NWO systems will be delayed, however. 

Hack

The NWO has been held hostage since February 8 by a group of well-known cyber criminals that call themselves DoppelPaymer. They hacked the organisation’s systems, which means that grant applications at NWO as well as at coordinating bodies SIA and NRO are currently frozen. 

The hackers are demanding a ransom to release the network, but so far, NWO has refused to pay it. In an effort to force the organisation’s hand, DoppelPaymer started publishing internal NWO documents to the dark web. 

Phishing

The UG warned its staff and students to be wary of emails sent from NWO, SIA, or NRO addresses because of the hack, since there’s a chance they might be phishing emails.

‘People are on edge about phishing’, says Sander van Lien, the CIT’s communication officer. On Tuesday morning, an email was sent out to all students and staff about the upcoming university elections. ‘The service desk received a lot of questions about where that email came from. It’s good that people are so alert’, he says. 

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