The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the cyber security situation in Germany, according to a study by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). BSI has given an overview of cyber security trends by analysing the period from 01 June 2019 to 31 May 2020. The pandemic is a boost for digitisation in Germany, but also brings risks, the BSI noted.
The situation is still characterised by cyber attacks with malware, used in new variants and with sophisticated methods. The number of malware programs now exceeds 1 billion mark. In the reporting period, 117.4 million new variants of malware were detected. The Emotet malware, which BSI described as the most dangerous in the world around two years ago, is still dominant.
Companies and institutions of all sizes and from every industry are targeted by cyber attacks. Carmakers and their suppliers have been targeted, as well as airports and airlines. Small and medium-sized companies that produce special components for mechanical engineering have also been victims of cyber attacks.
Municipal administrations, hospitals and universities were also impacted by ransomware attacks. Data leaks pose a threat to customers and patients. Around 15,000 patient data sets involving millions of medical images were publicly accessible without password protection. The information was on so-called PACS servers (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems), which are used in the healthcare sector for archiving images. The BSI has informed both the affected medical facilities in Germany and 46 international partners.