Hackers take down NWO servers, grant applications suspended

Hackers take down NWO servers, grant applications suspended

The servers of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) have been hacked. As a result, the digital network of the institute is inaccessible. Grant applications and processing are on hold for the time being.

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Due to a hack, none of the applications running on NWO’s network are currently accessible, the organization announced. As a result, email addresses of the NWO, the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA, and the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) are not accessible. Office software, including Outlook, cannot be used either. The NWO.nl website has not been affected by the hack.

NWO invests nearly 1 billion euros annually in research and is one of the most important science funders in the Netherlands. The application and reporting system for research grants, ISAAC, does not appear to have been hacked. The application runs on an external server. Nevertheless, NWO has completely shut down this server for security reasons until it is certain that no infection has occurred or can occur.

No grant applications for the time being

The entire primary process of the NWO and of both Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (involved in practice-based research) and Netherlands Initiative for Education Research NRO (works on improvement and innovation of education) is suspended indefinitely.

Specifically, this means that grant rounds with an approaching deadline will be postponed and that assessment of calls with expired deadlines will not currently be completed.

NWO announces that in the coming weeks it will look at how and when the grant process can be restarted. NWO makes no announcements about the ongoing investigation into the hack or the plan to resolve this situation. How long the situation will last, the institute cannot say.


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