Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Germany counts cyberattacks costs

Reuters, BERLIN

Two-thirds of Germany’s manufacturers have been hit by cybercrime attacks, costing industry in Europe’s largest economy about 43 billion euros (US$50 billion), a survey published yesterday by Germany’s IT sector association showed.

Industry association Bitkom surveyed 503 top managers and security chiefs from across Germany’s manufacturing sector and found that the small and medium-sized companies, which are the economy’s backbone, were particularly vulnerable to attacks.

“With its worldwide market leaders, German industry is particularly interesting for criminals,” Bitkom head Achim Berg said in a statement, urging companies to take cybersecurity more seriously and invest commensurately.

German security officials have long been sounding the alarm about the risk of well-resourced foreign spy agencies using cyberattacks to steal the advanced manufacturing techniques that have made Germany one of the world’s leading exporters.

The survey identified risks across the spectrum, with one-third of companies surveyed reporting mobile phones had been stolen and one-quarter saying they had lost sensitive digital data.

“Illegal knowledge and technology transfer ... is a mass phenomenon,” BfV domestic intelligence agency deputy president Thomas Haldenweg said.

There was evidence that cybercriminals were also using other techniques to hobble their German competitors, the survey found, with 19 percent of those polled saying their IT and production systems had been sabotaged digitally, and 11 percent reporting tapping of their communications.

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