Top 5 hacker attacks in Germany in 2021
With the increasing number of hacking attacks, no one seems safe anymore. Large corporations, family-run businesses, entire counties, health departments and even universities became targets of ransomware attacks in 2021. Among them, numerous in Germany. A year ago we reported on successful social engineering attacks in 2020 and below we list 5 significant cases in 2021.
Media Markt & Saturn
Even the biggest with the supposedly best security systems, are not immune to a hacker attack. In the night of November 7 to 8, 2021, cyber criminals attacked the servers of MediaMarktSaturn-Holding with an encryption Trojan. The ransomware used was Hive, a software that makes it easier for criminals to encrypt data and demand a ransom. Even though the chain’s electronics stores remained open – the damage was huge. The cash register and merchandise management systems of all stores were affected. Sales could only be made by paying with cash. Secondly, the chain was unable to offer its usual service. It was not possible to process complaints or order and pick up goods. Allegedly, the cybercriminals’ demand of 50 million US dollars (initially it was 240 million US dollars) was paid. However, this has not been confirmed.
A hacker attack does not always have to target a company. Authorities are also increasingly becoming the focus of the professionals. The attack on the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district was not noticed at first. The only thing that was noticed was that the e-mail server was no longer working. One day later, news came that files on the district’s drive were encrypted. On day two, it was clear that the administrator’s computer had also been encrypted. As a result of the cyberattack, an emergency was declared on July 9, 2021. The cybercriminals responsible for the attack demanded a ransom. The county refused. As a result, many services could no longer be provided for the time being.
Ludwigslust-Parchim Health Department
For weeks, the Ludwigslust-Parchim health department was unable to report current Corona figures to the RKI. The cause was a ransomware attack that came to light on October 15 on the server systems of the Schwerin IT and Service Company and Kommunalservice Mecklenburg. It took a full seven days before the telephone system was back in service. It was not until four weeks later that the transmission of Corona figures could take place again.
The University of Leipzig also fell victim to a hacker attack in 2021. At the end of September, the Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology became the target of a ransomware attack. Access to data and systems was prevented by encrypting all hard drives. It took weeks to restore the data.
Family-run companies were also victims of hacker attacks in 2021. For example, Basler AG from Ahrensburg in Schleswig-Holstein. On November 15 last year, the leading supplier of computer vision components discovered that its IT infrastructure had been massively disrupted. Immediate action was taken to contain the damage from the attack – this included a shutdown of all IT systems. External and internal IT and forensics experts investigated the incident and initiated the appropriate measures to restore normal workflows. Within a week, the IT infrastructure was up and running again.