Maaben: attack surface for cyberattacks growing rapidly

Maaben: attack surface for cyberattacks growing rapidly

According to the president of the federal office for the protection of the constitution, hans-georg maaben, the potential targets for cyber attacks in germany are growing rapidly as a result of digitalization.

The quality and quantity of intelligence-motivated attacks have increased significantly, maaben said thursday at the potsdam conference on national cybersecurity. For counterintelligence, digitization meant an exorbitant expansion of resources and tasks.

Attacks are targeted not only at government agencies and companies, but also at research institutes and schools, said maaben at the hasso plattner institute (hpi) conference. And there are indications that such attacks were deliberately directed from china, iran and north korea, among other countries.

While russian hackers such as the APT28 group, which is believed to be behind the attack on the federal government’s network, are focused on specific targets, groups from china often act according to the "vacuum cleaner principle". Activities have also been registered from iran since 2012.

Despite the risks, digitization is a key factor for germany’s future, stressed hendrik hoppenstedt, minister of state in the federal chancellery. "But digitization also requires modern security infrastructure."The federal government therefore wants to significantly improve cooperation between the federal and state governments.

The cyber defense center, which is subordinate to the ministry of the interior, is to coordinate cooperation and mobile response teams in the defense against attacks. In addition, the role of the federal office for information security (BSI) as a central body for certification and standardization is to be strengthened.

Arne schonbohm, president of the BSI, pointed out that people in germany are far from living in a fully digitized world. "At least i haven’t come to the conference in an autonomous vehicle yet today."But digitization is the basic prerequisite for innovation. It is therefore currently necessary to establish uniform standards for security and the handling of digital data. The "risk appetite" must also be weighed in the process. Different security requirements had to be met for a grub message sent by e-mail than for a health card, for example.

According to maaben, the internet of things is making a massive contribution to the growth of potential attack surfaces for cybercriminals. "The internet of things is increasingly becoming an internet of threats," maaben said. In the end, this could also become a threat to free democracies. Democracy must also remain defensible on the internet.

But cybersecurity is no longer a subject for specialists alone, said christoph meinel, head of the hasso plattner institute. They required more attention in the whole population. "All users are asked."After the major data scandals, such as those involving cambridge analytica, there is a kind of schizophrenia in the population. On the one hand, there was a lot of excitement, but on the other hand, people were extremely lax with their data.

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