Rian van Rijbroek
Rian van Rijbroek
(Propagandist?, Spook?, deep state operative?)
A mysterious woman who famously appeared live in January 2018 on Dutch state TV claiming to be a hacker who saw Russian, Iranian and North Korean code present in the increasing amount of Denial-of-service attacks on Dutch banks and institutions. Her nearly empty résumé and accusations raised eyebrows of dozens of security experts.
Rian van Rijbroek was presented in 2018 to Dutch TV viewers as a cyber security expert and a hacker working for an intelligence agency and multiple governments. She was promoting Cybersecurity and Cybercrime (co-authored with a former Dutch Secretary for Finance and Minister of Social Affairs Willem Vermeend). Her performance and book (which was later pulled amid widespread claims of plagiarism) were roundly criticised. It included blaming groups of hackers from Russia, Iran and North Korea and proposed unexpected solutions to cybercrime which caused nationwide outrage among security experts. This ended her media career.
Van Rijbroek registered multiple companies in the Dutch chamber of commerce, starting from 2004, under several aliases. Her first known company MaMoMo (short for MakeMoreMoney) was listed as specialized in "asset management".
Van Rijbroek is seen in two videos apparently recorded for the "Versace fashion show 2012" in Dubai (a city where Cognosec has an office located). In 2015 she lectured about "financial services".
On November 27, 2017 Rian registered the domain name smartblockchainsecurity.com using a 06 number that was traced back to the company Cyber Security Solutions BV (founded July 21, 2017) with sole shareholder and director Willem Vermeend.
Research by internet and IT-blogger Marcel van den Berg up until the end of January 2018 mostly found co-owned, non-promoted companies with Willem Vermeend and a Zoominfo database listing Van Rijbroek working for the London office of Swedish cybersecurity company Cognosec (a subsidiary of the UC Group)), something denied by another subsidiary of Cognosec at the London office (as the London office of Cognosec didn't answer calls).
She appeared live on Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur on the 25th of January 2018 in a peculiar 5 minute segment regarding the latest Denial-of-service attack on Dutch banks. Van Rijbroek blamed Russia, Iran and North Korea for the attacks on the Dutch banks, government institutions and other sites. Citing an "intelligence agency that shared those details with her today", she proclaimed these groups to be testing the security-systems before letting "ATMs spit money as seen in the US" (a method known as "jackpotting", which she didn't mention and although known in the US, but requiring physical proximity to the ATM and not a denial-of-service attack). As a solution she proposed switching to a blockchain (a central mechanism in all cryptocurrencies) and the use of external networks for citizens (VPNs) when online banking and stop using mobile banking applications altogether.
|Newsuur apologises for van Rijbroek|
Following many cybersecurity-experts voicing their frustration about the segment, the NOS released a statement a week later in which all her statements were invalidated by IT-professionals while apologizing for "causing confusion with the speculations van Rijbroek made", with the Assistant-Editor remarking "she told different things instead of what was rehearsed with her". An 18 year old was arrested and charged for the attacks on the 1st of February..
De Wereld van Cybersecurity en Cybercrime
Rian van Rijbroek co-authored with Willem Vermeend a book entitled De Wereld van Cybersecurity en Cybercrime. Amongst its claims were that Edward Snowden was suspected of leading the Shadow Brokers. After numerous instances of plagiarism were discovered it was pulled from the shelves.
In January 2018 Vermeend and van Rijbroek appeared at a few tech-conventions with "low-quality lectures", getting banned on one after one day. The Chamber of Commence started promoting their book around the same time, before removing all references after the Nieuwsuur appearance.
Van Rijbroek has disappeared from the media since March 2018.
These 3 questions remain unanswered.
- Why exactly was she allowed to appear on state television without anyone fact-checking her book which had already been on the market for a month?
- Why didn't a former Minister and State Secretary run a background check on someone with these accusations but instead introduced her multiple times as a former NSA officer?
- What is the real occupation of Rian van Rijbroek?