German companies lost billions to cyber attacks: Report

In the last two years, Cyber attacks German companies costing the industry sum of €43 billion ‘$50 billion, according to a survey published by Germany’s IT sector association on Thursday. German digital association Bitkom said on Thursday that 68 percent of German companies have become the victim of a cyber-attack, sabotage, data theft or espionage. “Many German companies are worldwide market leaders which makes them very attractive for criminals,” Bitkom’s president, Achim Berg, told a news conference in Berlin.

There were evidence cyber attacks 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.

In about 63 percent of the incidents, current or former employees of the companies were involved in the cyber-attack or the industrial espionage, Bitkom said.

In 29 percent of the incidents, hobby hackers were believed to have been responsible for the attacks, while foreign intelligence services were identified in 11 percent of the cases

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

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