Since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, cyber attacks have also increased in Germany. Common criminals are often at work here, after their victims’ money.

Cyber ​​criminals and state actors are endangering the security of Germans in cyberspace more than ever before. This emerges from the situation report of the Federal Office for Information Security, which was published on Tuesday in Berlin. In addition to the criminal actions, behind which there are primarily financial motives, the authority identifies cyber attacks in the context of the Russian attack on Ukraine as the cause of the high threat. In many cases, complaints were made about the inadequate product quality of IT and software products.

The BSI status report was supposed to be presented about two weeks ago. However, the appointment was canceled at short notice because the then BSI boss Jörg Schönbohm had fallen out of favor with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). The top official was then released by the minister a week later. A successor has not been determined. Schönbohm is accused of continued contacts with the German Cyber ​​Security Council (CSRD e.V.), which he co-founded and some of which are accused of having problematic contacts with Russia.

Strategic realignment necessary

Faeser explained on Tuesday that the cyber threat situation, which has continued to increase since the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, requires a strategic realignment and significant investments in Germany’s cyber security. “The modernization of our cyber security architecture with the expansion of the BSI into a central office, the further expansion and renewal of networks and IT systems in the administration, the strengthening of the security authorities for the prosecution of cybercrime and the improvement of defense capabilities against cyber attacks are important and necessary steps for a closely meshed federal cyber defense and an effective and efficient positioning in cyber space.”

Every vulnerability in software or hardware products is a potential gateway for attackers and endangers information security in administration, business and society. In 2021, over 20,000 vulnerabilities in software products were discovered and recorded. This corresponds to an increase of ten percent compared to the previous year.

The Vice President of the BSI, Gerhard Schabhüser, explained that ransomware attacks are currently the greatest threat in the cyber area. This refers to cyber attacks on companies, universities and authorities with the aim of extorting ransom. In the reporting period, there were several ransomware incidents in which municipalities in Germany were attacked.

BSI Status Report