• Germany's news in English

Chinese hackers target government computers

The Local · 27 Dec 2010, 10:23

Published: 27 Dec 2010 10:23 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

From January to September this year, about 1,600 such attacks against government computers were counted, the WAZ group of newspapers reported. That was nearly double the 900 counted in the first nine months of 2009.

Furthermore, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which has responsibility for domestic intelligence, believes there has been an increase in unreported cases.

The cyber-spies are trying to access political, military and economic data. State employees in China are behind a large share of the attacks, a spokeswoman for the BfV told WAZ.

The Chinese hackers send emails with attachments that, when opened, install a ''spyware'' program on the German computer and establish a connection with China so that data can be transferred.

The latest BfV report on cyber-attacks acknowledges that the hackers are getting the upper hand.

“The advantages on the Chinese side seem to predominate,” it said.

The attacks are causing such concern that the Interior Ministry is now planning counter-measures.

“We urgently need a national cyber-defence centre that monitors and aims to safeguard the security and the integrity of the internet – under control of the federal Interior Ministry,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told news magazine Der Spiegel recently.

Story continues below…

De Maizière plans to put forward a detailed plan this year for such a cyber-defence centre. The government fears that hackers in future may try not only to access information but also to attack important systems such as the electricity grid or power stations.

The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:58 December 27, 2010 by slawek
"We urgently need a national cyber-defence centre..."

Or simply stop using Microsoft software, e.g. Windows and Office. It would be best to replace it altogether with software known and distributed only internally.
11:19 December 27, 2010 by storymann
Thats the truth, hopefully they will do just that..the Chinese, always stealing the ideas of others and profiting from them but rarely if ever coming up with their own..
11:22 December 27, 2010 by auniquecorn
Right storymann, just like SAP
11:49 December 27, 2010 by storymann
You probably correct...or maybe they will buy it from Oracle this time
12:38 December 27, 2010 by ngwanem
or encourage more germans to study IT instead of Business Administration (BWL)
13:27 December 27, 2010 by freechoice
okay who said Chinese don't invent? who invented those fireworks you guys are suppose to let off this coming Silvester?

the attacks are probably politically motivated than commercial, for they are loaded with cash and could buy any company they want, like Volvo.

don't sprout hatred against others when you are ignorant yourselves!

and please stop using microshits! use mac or linux! there are fewer Chinese hackers with those knowledge.
13:30 December 27, 2010 by michael4096
1) the 'stealing' of software for American customers was done by an American services subsidiary of SAP although some American directors of the mother concern seem to admit either knowledge or at least a strong suspicion - I've heard no suggestion that any wrongdoing or knowledge crossed to Germany before the suit

2) don't feel too sorry for Oracle - they just haven't been caught yet
16:47 December 27, 2010 by storymann
@freechoice...why don't you list the inventions and innovations China has contributed in this century,,not fireworks from 300AD.Where is the hatred you are spouting about?.Ignorance seems to be your forte.
17:26 December 27, 2010 by raandy
I doubt anybody feels sorry for Oracle ,they were just awarded 1.3 billion in damages and a couple million in legal fees.statements made during the trial indicated that senior management new of this from the beginning,how could this not be known in Germany.
23:50 December 27, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I agree that there should be drastic changes in software immediately, in Germany and in America too.

The primary weakness in Western nations are in this area.

That custom software idea is brillaint!
00:47 December 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Love the photograph. Who's your art director -- Logic Guy?
01:04 December 28, 2010 by purity
The roots of the problems are not from software, but from Chinese Communist Party. They never follow laws and rules. Neither inside China, nor outside China.
01:17 December 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
That's precisely why the Beijing Consensus has replaced the Washington Consensus and why China is able to dominate the global economy and hoard all the money. Totalitarian capitalism is the new paradigm.
08:41 December 28, 2010 by catjones
@michael4096...SAP paid the highest ever recorded fine because they were innocent? Couldn't afford legal counsel? Sun in their eyes?
09:54 December 28, 2010 by freechoice
hallo bruther storymann

you know there is a search engine called Google?
11:23 December 28, 2010 by storymann
freechoice is that a ? or a statement..yes there is and

China has been the source of many significant inventions, including the Four Great Inventions of ancient China: papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing (both woodblock and movable type) but nothing in recent years...

have a good guten rutsch into the new year...
17:05 December 28, 2010 by DinhoPilot
China invented many stuff I must say. They figured out in the last decade that you can eat many crap you wouldn't thought of eating. Maybe someday they will figure out how to make stones edible to sort their food resources problems. Just wait... they are just coming here to check if germans are doing any progress... no harm.
10:35 December 29, 2010 by michael4096
@catjones - guess you haven't had too much experience with large companies

nice pun though: "Sun in their eyes?"
Today's headlines
Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Eurowings union threatens cabin crew strike for Thursday
Photo: DPA.

A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will start as of Thursday if ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd