Conducting secret negotiations online is not a good idea. This was confirmed at a closed online meeting of European defense ministers. As reported Politico, the discussion was conceived as confidential, but the meeting was interrupted by the appearance on the air of a Dutch journalist. Daniel Verlaan appeared on the screen, smiled and waved to the ministers.
Later, the journalist on his Twitter page explained that he was browsing the Internet office of the Minister of Defense of the Netherlands and found in the photo a link to an online conference and part of the login password. Verlaan restored the missing symbols by simple selection. “Yes, I myself was a little shocked that it worked. Didn’t expect there would be no more protection or verification“, The journalist admits.
Ja, ik schrok er zelf ook een beetje van dat dit lukte. Had niet verwacht dat er geen enkele andere vorm van beveiliging of validatie was.
Hier is het einde van de meeting te zien, mét beeld: Borrell: “You know that this is a criminal offence, huh?” pic.twitter.com/7EsoO1F3JO
– Daniël Verlaan (@danielverlaan) November 20, 2020
The journalist explained that he learned a lesson from the incident: secret online meetings of European ministers are poorly defended. In addition, European officials will be more willing to persecute a journalist, rather than eliminate shortcomings in information protection.
As Politico notes, European diplomats took the incident extremely seriously. “Next time it might be a hacker and we won’t laugh anymore“, – said one of the representatives of the diplomatic corps.
Photo danielverlaan / Twitter