A reporter for the Dutch TV channel RTL Nieuws was able to connect to a closed video conference of the EU defense ministers in Zoom. The footage posted on social networks shows Daniel Verlaan in a black T-shirt appearing in a large window at the top of the screen, smiling and greeting the heads of the military departments. The journalist later said that he was shocked by the opportunity to enter the meeting without being checked.
Verlaan admitted to using information from a Twitter post by Dutch Defense Minister Anki Beyeveld. The head of the Ministry of Defense published a photo in which she works from home while participating in a video conference. The post contains a photograph of the minister's laptop screen, which shows her colleagues from the European Union. Another image, which has already been removed, showed the five digits of the six-digit PIN required for access. The journalist learned the missing figure by simple selection.
The appearance of the reporter drew laughter from the videoconference participants. EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell asked Verlaan if he knew he was attending a secret conference. In response, the journalist smiled, introduced himself, apologized for his actions and passed out after saying goodbye.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reacted to the incident by reprimanding the head of the Ministry of Defense.“This shows once again that ministers need to understand how careful they need to be about Twitter,”
- he said. In his Twitter, Verlaan explained his infiltration of the videoconference of the EU defense ministers with an attempt to test the reliability of the security system. According to the reporter, Brussels said in advance that it is impossible to connect to the meeting using only a PIN, as there will be additional verification.“They lied. Likewise, in their response - it was a secret, confidential meeting,”
- he wrote. The journalist admitted that he saw a five-digit code and a login in the photo on the Twitter account of the Dutch Minister of Defense. “It was a six-digit PIN. I joined with the name "admin", - Verlaan specified.