German government: Covid threatens IT security: Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security has announced that cyberattacks have rapidly increased this year. Between June 2019 and May 2020, the agency detected more than 117 million new malicious programs. That’s 320,000 a day. The video conferences that have become commonplace in Covid times and inadequate security standards in home offices are particularly dangerous. The Federal Office is planning reforms to counteract this trend. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is planning to hire a hundred new positions in IT. The government is also preparing a draft for a second IT security law. The opposition criticized that it has taken the government too long to understand potential dangers and act on them.
IT security industry continues to grow: In view of increasing attacks on their IT infrastructure, companies in Germany are investing more heavily in security measures. According to a survey by the industry association Bitkom, spending on IT security in Germany will grow by 5.6% in 2020. For the following year Bitkom is even assuming double-digit growth. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office, the number of cyberattacks increased by 15% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
BER operators still rely on Windows XP: The newly opened Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) is still using computers with the outdated Windows XP operating system. A statement from Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH (FBB) and the Berlin Senate has now provided more information: The operating system is still running on 15 computers, even though Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows XP. These computer are kept in “separate network areas”, the statement said.
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Darknet trial started in Trier: One of the largest internet crime trials in the history of Germany has started in Trier. The operator “Cyberbunker” is accused of 249,000 crimes, including drug trafficking, child pornography, counterfeit money transactions and data theft. After five and a half years of investigative work with 650 officials, 403 confiscated servers and two million gigabytes of confiscated data, the operators of the darknet data center in Traben-Trarbach are now officially accused of enabling criminal transactions and serious crimes. The trial runs until 2021 and has to prove to the accused not only that they knew about the illegal activities of their customers, but also that they supported them.
Russia apparently planned cyberattack on Olympics: American prosecutors and British government officials have accused Russia of actively seeking to undermine the now-delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Games it was barred from. According to the American and British authorities, operatives from Russia’s military intelligence wing unleashed a barrage of cyberattacks on the 2018 Winter Olympics and started operations against the Tokyo Games as part of a broader worldwide hacking campaign that also included attacks on a French presidential election and Ukraine’s electricity grid.
EU warns of aid loan application fraud: The Representation of the European Commission in Germany has warned of phishing attacks against small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Cybercriminals want to intercept confidential company data with fake application forms for Covid aid loans. The fake applications are sent out in the name of the EU Commission and its alleged spokesman “Svetla Bobeva” from the domain ec-europa.eu. It is advisable not to open the email at all.
Censorship: Twitter eases hacked materials policy after blocking Hunter Biden New York Post story cbsnews.com
Lieferando: Delivery service admits data leak e-recht24.de
Smart home: Security applications put to the test lanline.de
Microsoft emails: Which virus programs find phishing e-mails? chip.de
State Trojans: How to keep them away from your laptop and PC br.de
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NUMBER OF THE WEEK
For one in five companies, attacks on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have already become a main cybersecurity concern.
Cyberattacks greater business risk than pandemics: Companies see a greater risk in cyberattacks than in the effects of pandemics, according to a study sponsored by cybersecurity manufacturer Airlock. 41 percent of the companies surveyed said that cyberattacks represented the greatest business risk. By contrast, only 29 percent said they fear the effects of pandemics more. Three out of four participants said they are planning on increasing their security budgets. Investments are primarily planned in the areas of network security (42%) and cloud security (39%).
Florida voting machines ripe for foreign hackers: Numerous counties in Florida rely on voting machines that are drawing fire for their vulnerability to a cyberattack. These computer scientists along with election integrity groups familiar with the model that Palm Beach and 48 other counties use, say there are potentially numerous ways for a foreign entity to alter results.
“There are still no minimum standards, still no revised liability regime, still no independent, well-equipped supervisory structures.”
Green party politician Konstantin von Notz has accused the German government of failing in terms of IT security.
Laptop troubles Biden: An abandoned laptop with water damage found by a computer repair company in the state of Delaware is causing problems for US presidential candidate Joe Biden. The New York Post published an article based on emails purportedly obtained from the laptop. The key thrust of the article is that an April 2015 email suggests Hunter Biden arranged for a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm to meet with his father, the then-vice president, when he was in charge of US policy toward Ukraine. According to the Post, photos were also found on the mysterious laptop that show Biden junior smoking a drug pipe. Facebook and Twitter caused controversy when they took steps to limit the spread of the New York Post article. The reasoning stated that the distribution of private material that was obtained by “hackers” was not allowed.
merkur.de, washingtonpost.com, independent.co.uk, theguardian.com