Belgian cybersecurity startup fixes hole in US government

Belgian cybersecurity startup fixes hole in US government

Sweepatic, a Leuven based cybersecurity startup, recently discovered and secured a significant security gap in the digital footprint of one of the US government institutions.

The gap had the form of a subdomain takeover and is considered as a high severity threat. It means that somebody with bad intentions could easily register the governmental internet domain with the purpose to gain control over it. In that case the damage is done.

After Sweepatic’s discovery (and proactively remediation) at the end of June 2017, they submitted their finding through what is called a responsible disclosure. After coordination with the National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) in the US, they were able to bring the security issue to a close (August 2017) before any harm was done. Sweepatic believes this to be a prime example of the collaboration between the private and public sector in reporting security issues around the world, denying opportunities for bad actors.

The kind of security gap found in the digital footprint of the is an important matter for many organizations, as Stijn Vande Casteele, Co-founder and CEO of Sweepatic, explains: “For many business and organizations, an internet presence is a window to the world. This window however is also used by cybercriminals and other bad actors, who are continually assessing if it’s worth robbing the shop.”

“What we as cyber security experts observe”, Stijn continues, “is that it is incredibly hard for organizations to keep up as their digital footprints – a complex mesh exposed to the internet - are exploding in size. On the other hand we see adversaries demonstrate patience, determination and growing sophistication in profiling their next targets.”

For more details on the security gap, a technical write up is made available in the Sweepatic blog.


About Sweepatic
Sweepatic is an innovative cybersecurity company based in Leuven, Belgium. With its unique managed reconnaissance and counterintelligence solutions, it’s striving to discover and remediate security gaps in large digital footprints and making the internet and organizations around the world more safe.

Sweepatic is supported by the B-Hive community and accelerator Start it @KBC, where innovative and scalable entrepreneurship is key. Sweepatic was recently nominated by Leuven Mindgate as one of the start-ups to watch in 2018.

Contact us
Stijn Vande Casteele Co-founder & CEO, Sweepatic
About Start it @KBC

Start it @KBC supports and promotes entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models. As such, it is Belgium’s largest community of start-ups. As a pioneer in Belgium, Start it @KBC aims to have a positive impact on the country’s economy and society. 

 For their first 3 months at Start it @KBC, start-ups join a strong, tailor-made accelerator programme while continuing to profit from top-notch mentorship, diverse expertise, an extensive international network and an inspiring co-working space for a period of 18 months. Start it @KBC continuously adapts its programme in co-creation with its start-ups.  

One of Start it @KBC’s key objectives is to stimulate (international) cross-pollination between more than 650 start-ups and scale-ups but also amongst investors, experienced mentors, experts from a wide variety of domains (technology, sales, legal, marketing, communication, etc.) and other global accelerators and incubators. The community also plays a leading role in promoting diversity and female entrepreneurship. 

Start it @KBC also has a clear international vision. In addition to hubs in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven, Kortrijk and Budapest, the community also includes a presence in New York. As of 2017, Start it @KBC has been a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), a select network of 120 global accelerator programmes, offering extra opportunities for start-ups on the international stage and up to 1 million dollars’ worth of exclusive advantages from technology partners.

Via the Start it @KBC’s Corporate Incubation Program, start-up teams within large companies have also been able to transform innovative ideas into fully-fledged businesses under the guidance of Start it @KBC. 

Start it @KBC began in 2014 as a partnership between AccentureCronos GroepFlanders DCimecjoynKBCMobile VikingsTelenet Kickstart and local academic partners. 

Start-ups can apply to the programme at any time via the website The selected founders are then invited to pitch their idea to a professional jury at 1 of 2 pitch events per year, after which a new batch of start-ups begin their entrepreneurial journey at Start it @KBC. 

For more information:
For Start it @KBC logos and images:
Press kit Start it @KBC

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