Allianz expects more hacker attacks on supply chains

Released on 13.10. 2021

  • Allianz warns of an increasing number of online blackmail attacks on stalled global supply chains. Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst

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Around the globe, industry and trade have been suffering from delivery problems for months. According to Allianz, criminal cyber gangs could worsen the situation.

Munich (dpa) – Allianz warns of an increasing number of online blackmail attacks on stalling global supply chains.

Companies that deliver essential goods for business and society, belong to the particularly endangered targets according to the assessment of the Allianz-owned industrial insurer AGCS.

Another target are IT service providers whose systems are networked with a large number of computers in customer companies. In this way, cybercriminals could quickly install blackmail software on a large number of computers from different companies, write the AGCS experts in their “Cyber ​​Report” published on Wednesday. Attacks on supply chains are the “next big trend,” said AGCS manager Jens Krickhahn.

There have been multiple ransomware attacks of this kind in the past few months, which AGCS experts expect or 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. 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, resulting in a temporary restriction of the gasoline supply on the US east coast.

Both the damage and the sums demanded will be higher and higher. Five years ago, online blackmail cases were still «5000, 6000, 7000 Euro »has been requested, reported Krickhahn. 2020 there were already claims from 30 million dollars. “Today we are already seeing claims in the amount of 30 million dollars.”

According to AGCS, the criminal boom is promoted by the fact that hacker groups are now acting as service providers. “As an average IT-savvy person, you can actually go and rent ransomware attacks,” said Krickhahn. “Some of them get a hotline function.” the Cyber ​​Report. AGCS relies on analysis that shows the average total cost of recovery and downtime of a blocked system over the past year compared to 2020 of good 761 000 to 1, 85 millions More than doubled US dollars.

According to the AGCS experts, many cyber attacks could be averted or the damage limited. “Eighty percent of the damage is due to simple errors,” said AGCS manager Michael Daum – as an example he named servers with outdated operating systems and corresponding security gaps. 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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