Each day there are more than 20 highly specialized attacks on the government’s computer networks, the president of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Arne Schönbohm, told Bild on Tuesday.
“Today cyber attacks are much more precise than before and aimed at single targets, like the German parliament. That unfortunately means they’re also more successful,” Schönbohm said.
The BSI is at the front line of protecting government networks, and so far “no hacker has yet cracked this”.
Last year though, a magazine reported that German-owned Patriot missiles in Turkey were briefly taken over by hackers.
Schönbohm said that the frequency of attacks on both private and public entities has become great.
“Volkswagen says the number of attacks on their IT network is 6,000 per day.”
A study last year found that one in five major German firms had been attacked by hackers.
DPA recently found that some German states, in the fight against cyber crime and terrorist activity, have significantly expanded their investigative authorities to include new specialized departments, prosecutors and IT experts.
Security experts fear that terrorists or other groups could, for example, target through cyber attacks certain vital resources for communities, like water or energy supplies.
The German government also warned of cyber attacks in its first civil defence plan since the end of the Cold War. The strategy called for citizens to stockpile food for ten days and water for five in case of cyber or other attacks against resources.
In April, a computer virus found at a Bavarian power plant raised alarm, though plant operators insisted that it did not pose a threat. Authorities later discovered that the virus came from a USB stick rather than over the internet.