Hacker attacks: Cyber ​​attacks are like a service – economy

Industry and trade worldwide have been suffering from delivery problems for months. Criminal cyber gangs could make the situation worse.

Experts are warning of an increasing number of online blackmail attacks on faltering global supply chains. Companies that deliver essential goods for the economy and society are among the most vulnerable targets, according to the Allianz industrial insurer AGCS.

Another target of attack are IT service providers whose systems are networked with a large number of computers in customer companies. In this way, cyber criminals could quickly install blackmail software on a large number of computers from different companies, write the experts in their “Cyber ​​Report” published on Wednesday.

Attacks on supply chains are the “next big trend”, says AGCS manager Jens Krickhahn. Such ransomware attacks have already occurred several times in the past few months, but experts fear a further increase in the number of cases. Ransomware means that hackers encrypt the computers of the attacked companies and charge large sums for the release of the systems.

The sums required are getting higher and higher

A common method is to send emails with encryption software in an attached file to authorities and companies. In May, hackers paralyzed the systems of the US gasoline supplier Colonial Pipeline. The result was a temporary restriction in the gasoline supply on the US east coast.

Both the damage and the sums required are getting higher and higher. Five years ago, “5,000, 6,000, 7,000 euros” were still being asked for online extortion cases, according to Krickhahn. In 2020 there were already claims of 30 million dollars, today they are already 50 million dollars. “

Hackers even provide hotline functions

The criminal boom is fueled by the fact that hacker groups are now acting as service providers. “As an average IT-savvy person, you can actually go out and rent ransomware attacks,” said Krickhahn. “In some cases, you get a hotline function.”

Not only are the sums extorted higher, but also the effort to restore blocked systems is becoming more expensive and tedious, according to the Cyber ​​Report. AGCS cites analysis that shows the average total cost of recovery and downtime for a blocked system more than doubled in the past year from a good $ 761,000 in 2020 to $ 1.85 million.

Many cyber attacks could be averted or the damage limited. “Eighty percent of the damage is due to simple errors,” says AGCS manager Michael Daum – he named servers with outdated operating systems and corresponding security gaps as an example. Companies not only have to focus on prevention, they also need “digital alarm systems” in order to be able to recognize and stop a hacker attack once it has started.

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