Germany reports rise in cyberattacks by foreign actors

According to government's annual report, for more than 190,000 cybercrimes reported last year, perpetrators were abroad or at unknown location

16:00 - 13/05/2024 Pazartesi
File Photo
File Photo

Germany reported a 28% increase in cyberattacks by foreign actors last year, authorities said on Monday.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has pointed out that for more than 190,000 cybercrimes reported last year, perpetrators were abroad or at an unknown location.

"The threat level in the area of cyber security remains high. That is why we are acting so decisively - both nationally and internationally,” she told a press conference at the headquarters of the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden.

“We want to further strengthen cyber defense and create additional instruments that would allow us to act quickly in the event of serious cyberattacks and repel these attacks,” she said.

Faeser said German security authorities recently dismantled several criminal networks and shut down large darknet platforms, and technical infrastructures that are used for cyberattacks.

She stressed that the latest investigation into the activities of the Russian APT28 group shows German authorities have been successful in detecting such attacks and identifying the perpetrators.

“We will not be intimidated by the Russian regime under any circumstances. We will continue to do everything we can to protect our democracy from such Russian cyber operations, and we will continue to provide Ukraine with massive support,” she said.

According to the annual report of the Federal Criminal Police, released on Monday, German authorities reported more than 320,000 cyberattacks targeting government institutions, businesses, or private persons last year.

More than 190,000 cyberattacks were committed by foreign actors and perpetrators at an unknown location, while nearly 134,000 cyberattacks were committed by suspects residing in Germany.

According to the report, cybercriminals were responsible for various incidents last year, they intercepted data and gained access to systems via vulnerabilities, paralyzed government websites with DDoS campaigns, and encrypted companies' IT systems with ransomware in order to blackmail their victims.

Last year, more than 800 German companies and institutions reported ransomware cases to the police, but the report said the actual numbers could be higher as many incidents are not reported to the authorities.

According to Bitkom, a digital advocacy group, the estimated cost of cyberattacks on German businesses was €148 billion ($160 billion) last year.

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