German security agencies are registering more and more cyber attacks, which are also becoming more "aggressive" in their intensity.
Networked devices such as baby phones are a popular target for hackers to gain access to data.
The authority dealing with the defense of such attacks should get 450 new jobs until the end of the legislature.
By Constanze von Bullion, Berlin, and Hakan Tanriverdi, Munich
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) wants to intensify efforts in the fight against cybercrime. The risk situation was "still high and tense, both for the state, for the economy as well as for the user," he said on Thursday, when the annual report of the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) was presented in Berlin. The methods of cybercriminals would be "more aggressive". BSI President Arne Schönbohm also emphasized that the situation had "continued to deteriorate".
800 million malicious programs are known to the Federal Office for Information Security. According to the report, about 390,000 new variants are added daily. The attacks range from supposedly secure encrypted emails, which could be secretly read, to weak points in processors. Criminals gained access to private data through baby monitors or surveillance cameras, Schönbohm said. Often, they used foreign machines to mine the digital currency Bitcoin. "Due to the high financial attractiveness and the inconspicuousness of the infections" this illegal procedure "should be regarded as a significantly increasing cyber risk", says the BSI report.
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Among the worst known incidents was a hacker attack on the Foreign Office in February 2018. He had been "successfully eliminated," said Schönbohm. It did not go unnoticed that the authorities had trouble controlling the situation. Between July 2017 and May 2018, 145 incidents were also reported to operators of critical infrastructures, such as energy suppliers. This included an attack on the EnBW subsidiary Netcom.
In the past two years, the German economy has incurred 43 billion euros in damage through espionage and data theft, said Iris Plöger, member of the executive board of the Federation of German Industry. The state and companies would have to cooperate much more closely. Seehofer announced that it would make the BSI an "equally strong pillar" for the security authorities, such as the Federal Criminal Police Office, the constitution protection and the federal police. Of the 15,000 new posts pledged to federal and state security agencies, however, the BSI only receives 450 new posts until the end of the legislature.
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