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Myra’s monthly security highlights present IT decision-makers and security specialists with the most relevant topics from the world of cybersecurity. Hacker trends, defense strategies, and reports on cyber attacks, hacker campaigns, and more are available here in a clearly laid out format.
Government agencies, companies, and critical infrastructure remain at the top of cybercriminals’ hit lists. This fact is once again underscored by the current case of the Sunburst Trojan. The malware is believed to have infected over 18,000 organizations, government agencies, and businesses. The attackers managed to infiltrate the organizations’ systems via compromised updates for an IT management and monitoring software program and spread from there undetected. Among others, US government agencies, US federal departments, and military facilities were affected, as well as a number of larger corporations such as AT&T, Cisco, Mastercard, Microsoft, and Siemens. The Russian hacker group APT29 (aka Cozy Bear) is suspected of having perpetrated the ambitious attack.

Meanwhile, Interpol, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), and the French National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI) are warning of an intensified threat situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Attackers are increasingly misusing the virus for spam, phishing, and social engineering. The upsurge in remote workers is also opening up new opportunities for cybercriminals to penetrate organizations’ networks without being detected.

The top IT security topics in December

IT security trends

Discussions about IT Security Act 2.0 Are Ongoing:

The German cabinet has approved a controversial package of laws designed to ensure greater IT security – especially for critical infrastructure. However, critics still see considerable shortcomings in the legislation currently being drafted.

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“Amnesia:33”: New Vulnerabilities Discovered in Millions of IoT Devices:

Security researchers are issuing warnings about security vulnerabilities, some of them serious, in networked medical and industrial devices. Products from at least 150 suppliers worldwide are affected. The vulnerabilities result from a faulty implementation of the TCP/IP internet protocol.

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Escalation of Cyberattacks on the Financial Industry:

Latest research shows that nearly two-thirds of financial institutions have been affected by cyberattacks in the past twelve months. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to further exacerbate this trend.

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Password Security Is Still Coming Up Short:

Many people continue to underestimate the importance of a complex password for protecting private or business data. According to a list compiled by the Hasso Plattner Institute, the most popular passwords in 2020 include the classics “123456” and “password” as well as “iloveyou”.

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Lowering Costs with Compliance: Revised Version of MaRisk Provides Opportunities:

The sixth revised version to MaRisk offers medium-sized and small financial institutions in particular, which are organized in network structures, lucrative starting points to avoid additional regulatory effort and thus lower costs.

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Cybercrime

Sunburst Trojan Infects Over 18,000 Organizations, Government Agencies, and Businesses:

The malware spread via the update servers of an IT management software application. In addition to large companies, government agencies and federal departments in the USA are also heavily affected. The Russian state-backed hacker group APT29 is suspected of being behind the attack.

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COVID-19: Vaccine Companies Targeted by Cybercriminals:

Hackers have attacked the European Medicines Agency (EMA). They acquired vaccine documents from BioNTech and Pfizer. Interpol and security experts warn of further attacks on vaccine developers and vaccine logistics chains.

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Cyberattack Paralyzes German Dax Stock Index Aspirant Symrise:

According to the company, the attackers planted a virus in the company network “with extortionist intent”. As a result, large parts of production had to be temporarily halted.

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Security Breaches in Medical Practices Put Patient Data at Risk:

Improperly inserted connectors enabled security researchers to trick the telematics infrastructure into thinking they were a doctor’s office. This gave them access to all the electronic patient files of the affected practices without having to enter a password.

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330,000 Faked Interactions for 300 Euros

A recent NATO study shows how little effort is required for targeted manipulation in social networks. Troll factories are able to generate high interaction rates at very low cost. The protective mechanisms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like are largely ineffective.

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Cybercrime Incurs Costs of Over One Trillion US Dollars:

In 2020, cybercrime will cost the global economy more than one trillion US dollars. The costs are largely incurred as a result of direct damage and the associated consequential costs, but there are also expenses for IT security.

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Things to know

ISO 27001 vs. ISO 27001 Based on IT-Grundschutz

ISO 27001 and ISO 27001 based on IT-Grundschutz (IT baseline protection) define a framework and describe a concept for implementing an information security management system (ISMS). The standards are similar in principle but have significant differences in detail.

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Cybersecurity: What Awaits IT Decision-Makers in 2021

Myra Security looks back at the year’s most defining IT security trends and dares to look ahead to the challenges and digital threats IT decision-makers will be facing in the coming year.

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November 2020

IT-Security-Trends

Cyber insurance: DDoS and blackmail cause the most expensive damage:

While external attacks account for the majority of the damage, internal incidents are the most common cause of cyber damage. Security service providers can help to increase the level of protection, thereby lowering cyber risks and insurance premiums.

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Out of the crisis and into the cloud:

In the future, companies will increasingly depend on how quickly and how well they are able to make use of cloud and remote work solutions. Forrester analysts forecast that there will be increased investment in these new technologies in 2021.

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U.S. authorities warn of attacks on the healthcare system:

U.S. security agencies are warning of an acute threat to the healthcare system from ransomware attacks. Eastern European hacker groups are said to be primarily responsible, and they sometimes use the Ryuk and Conti encryption trojans to perpetrate their attacks.

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Coronavirus puts cybersecurity at the top of the agenda:

A current study by the consulting firm PwC shows that due to the increased threat situation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the topic of IT security is becoming more important for companies.

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New Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) as a replacement for Privacy Shield:

In order to create a legally secure basis for transatlantic transfer of data between the EU and the U.S., the EU Commission is working on revised SCCs. In particular, the data protection requirements that the ECJ has specified in the Schrems II ruling should be taken into account.

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Cybercrime

 

DDoS attack troubles British broker:

The services of the British financial services provider Trading 212 temporarily became unavailable as a result of a DDoS attack. According to the fintech company, no customer data or stock portfolios were compromised by the failure.

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You can’t rely on honor among thieves:

Cyber criminals are increasingly reselling data stolen by ransomware to the highest bidder on the darknet, even if the victim has paid up.

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Contract hackers target the financial industry:

Security researchers have come across a large-scale APT campaign in which hackers systematically penetrated the systems of South Asian financial institutions. It is not known who hired the digital mercenaries.

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Outdoor apparel manufacturer North Face is resetting customer passwords:

Due to a massive credential stuffing attack, North Face was forced to reset the passwords for its customers and the payment tokens stored in the accounts for security reasons.

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DDoS attack paralyzes RKI website:

The Robert Koch Institute website went down for several hours. The failure was caused by a botnet-based DDoS attack. It has not yet been discovered who is behind the attacks. However, it is believed that no data was leaked as the result of the attack.

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Struggle against criminal trading platforms:

Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht wants to take action against criminal marketplaces on the internet and darknet. In order to combat the trafficking in arms, drugs, and pornography, the responsible government agencies will increasingly utilize online raids and “state trojans” going forward.

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Doxing: Minimizing data exposure is the best protection:

In Germany, the first judgment for doxing was recently handed down. A 22-year-old had collected the private data of numerous celebrities and published it online. This case demonstrates the importance of protecting our confidential data and digital identities.

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Things to know

Myra Security receives an 8-figure investment:

The German cybersecurity company Myra Security and Round2 Capital have been working together for about a year, and now they have decided to expand this partnership. Myra Security will receive over ten million euros in new funding.

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October 2020

IT-Security-Trends

Cyber warfare: U.S. military succeeds in strike against the TrickBot botnet:

The U.S. Cyber Command has temporarily disrupted the botnet allegedly controlled by Russian cyber criminals to prevent it from impacting the U.S. presidential election.

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BSI [BSI = Federal Office for Information Security] situation report: “Risk situation in the area of critical infrastructure remains at a high level:”

Operators of critical infrastructure see themselves exposed to cross-sector attacks, particularly DDoS and ransomware. Complex DDoS attacks on banks have caused disruptions in payment transactions. Successful defense requires protective measures on all the relevant levels.

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IDC study: Companies are investing more in securing their employees’ home offices:

38 percent of respondents have increased their budget for this purpose. 37 percent consider network security to be the most important issue of 2020. Security incidents have already occurred in more than three quarters of the companies surveyed.

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DsiN [DsiN = Germany Safe on the Net] Practice Report 2020: 46 percent of all SMEs affected by cyber attacks:

In three out of four cases the attacks led to detrimental effects. Yet few companies are actively improving their digital defenses. There is a need to catch up, especially in the implementation of operational security measures.

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Bitkom: Expenditures for IT security grow by 5.6 percent:

In the current year, investments in Germany will likely reach €5.2 billion, which would be a new all-time high. Services account for the largest share of the total market at 55 percent or €2.8 billion.

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BKA [BKA = Federal Criminal Police Office]: Number of cybercrime cases increases by 15 percent:

According to the Federal Situation Report 2019, the police registered a total of 100,514 cases in Germany. Ransomware attacks, which are often accompanied by data theft, continue to pose the greatest threat. Scammers also took advantage of the general interest in COVID-19 information.

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Cybercrime

 

Russian hackers steal data from U.S. government agencies:

According to the FBI, dozens of municipal and state government networks were attacked. Data is said to have been stolen from at least two servers. State-supported actors are suspected behind the attacks.

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Software AG becomes the target of malware attack and data theft:

The Darmstadt-based company had to temporarily shut down its in-house systems. The attackers also stole data that has since become public. According to the company, the costs for combating the attack have so far amounted to approx. €5 million.

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Google reports the largest known DDoS attack to date:

The attack had a peak bandwidth of 2.54 terabits/s and was launched by a state-supported actor from China. The incident occurred in September 2017, but was only just published by Google in a report on DDoS attacks on its infrastructure.

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Cyberbunker trial against operators of darknet infrastructure begins:

A computer center in a bunker facility in Traben-Trarbach in Rhineland-Palatinate is said to have been responsible for at least 249,000 criminal offenses, including trafficking in drugs and counterfeit money. The proceedings before the Trier Regional Court are concerned with clarifying the responsibility and involvement of the accused operators.

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Insider attack on asset manager Scalable Capital:

The Munich-based start-up reported “unlawful access” to strictly confidential customer data. In addition to contact information, it is alleged that, among other things, securities statements, tax and account numbers, and identification data were leaked. At least 23,000 customers are affected.

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Finland: Attackers steal medical records of thousands of psychotherapy patients:

Affected are patients of Vastaamo, a private provider. Like the company itself, many of them have reported blackmail attempts. A 10 GB file containing notes from therapy sessions is said to be circulating on the darknet.

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Best practices, defense, and mitigation

Financial Stability Council gives recommendations for action on how to deal with cyber incidents:

The report “Effective Practices for Cyber Incident Response and Recovery” is a toolkit for financial institutions. It includes 49 recommendations on how those impacted by a cyber incident can restore their ability to operate.

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September 2020

IT-Security-Trends

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Cybercrime

DDoS blackmailers attack in the name of “Fancy Bear”:

DDoS blackmailers attack in the name of “Fancy Bear”:Cybercriminals pretending to be the Fancy Bear hacker group are blackmailing German companies into paying large ransoms. Those failing to heed the attackers’ demands face the prospect of critical DDoS attacks.

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Massive DDoS attack on Hungarian banks and Magyar Telekom:

According to the telephone company, it was one of the biggest hacker attacks ever perpetrated in Hungary, in terms of both scope and complexity.

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Data breach at US hospital: Medical records and personal information of 6,000 patients stolen:

The stolen records include name, date of birth, detailed medical records, and in some cases, insurance information and social security numbers.

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Didn’t care much for online classes: 16-year-old high school student disrupts school with a simple DDoS attack:

The teenager from Miami used the open source “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” stress testing tool to overwhelm the school district’s inadequately secured networks.

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Things to know

The Myra platform at a glance

The Myra Security-as-a-Service platform is conceived as a comprehensive protection concept for securing digital business processes. The individual solutions interact seamlessly to ensure robust IT security, performance, and certified compliance.

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August 2020

IT-Security-Trends

Data breaches are costing the German financial industry dearly:

According to a study by IBM, no other industry has recorded such high levels of damage related to data breaches and cyber attacks as the finance sector.
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Hospital law of the future: German government focuses on IT security:

The German government plans to spend three billion euros to advance the digitization of hospitals. The funding requires that hospitals focus on IT security during the digital transformation.
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There is no IT security without awareness:

If you want to strengthen cybersecurity in your company, you cannot rely on technical solutions alone. Employees must also be brought up to speed on the subject so that the right strategic response is made in the event of an attack.
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The challenge of IT outsourcing in the financial sector:

The trend toward outsourcing IT security to specialist providers is continuing. Especially in the financial sector, however, the regulatory requirements for outsourcing of this kind are being increasingly scrutinized by BaFin. This will also have an impact on insurance companies.
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Quantum computing entails opportunities and risks:

Innovative quantum systems calculate the complex risk models and optimization tasks of banks and insurance companies in the shortest possible time. However, the Federal Association of German Banks (BdB) warns that the technology can also be used to defeat commonly used encryption methods.
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Cybercrime

Encryption Trojan with affiliated leak platform:

The novel Conti ransomware not only encrypts the data of its victims but also threatens to publish the victims’ data on a publicly accessible platform.
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Travel operator CWT pays $4.5 million to get its data back:

As part of a ransomware attack, the US business travel operator was forced to pay the equivalent of US$ 4.5 million in Bitcoin.
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A million-dollar bribe for an attack on Tesla:

Cybercriminals offered an employee at the Tesla factory in the US state of Nevada a million-dollar bribe. In return, he was to infect the factory’s systems with malware. However, the employee demonstrated loyalty and reported the incident to his employer. The FBI is now investigating the incident.
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Best Practise, Defense & Mitigation

Catching up on the backlog of IT security in hospitals:

In healthcare, another critical infrastructure (KRITIS), BSI attests to weaknesses in organizational measures for cybersecurity. There is nothing to criticize in the technical implementation of security measures, but an IT-specific security culture is lacking. This manifests itself in incomplete risk management, insufficient network segmentation, and outdated Windows operating systems.
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Checking IT service providers more closely:

Raimund Röseler, Executive Director of Banking Supervision, is in favor of direct control rights and sanctions against IT service providers. This is the only way BaFin can ensure that strict compliance guidelines are adhered to in the ongoing trend toward IT outsourcing:
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Things to know

The Myra platform at a glance: Web Application Security:

Web Application Security: Injection attacks, malware attacks, manipulative bot requests, and more: Online services today are exposed to a wide range of threats that need to be systematically addressed. As an upstream protective wall, Myra Website Application Security protects the web applications of companies and government agencies from all of these kinds of attacks.
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The Myra platform at a glance: Web Intelligence:

Web Application Security: Injection attacks, malware attacks, manipulative bot requests, and more: Online services today are exposed to a wide range of threats that need to be systematically addressed. As an upstream protective wall, Myra Website Application Security protects the web applications of companies and government agencies from all of these kinds of attacks.
Find out more

July 2020

IT-Security-Trends

Social Engineering: What the Twitter Hack Shows Us:

Attackers have successfully hacked countless celebrity and corporate accounts on Twitter and used them for bogus spam messages. The blame for this was not due to a vulnerability in Twitter’s systems, but to a successful social engineering attack on one of the service’s employees. You can find out more about the attack here:
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Digitization in Health Care in Demand as Never Before:

International studies have shown that patients are increasingly demanding digital treatment methods such as telemedicine, health apps, and AI-supported diagnostics programs. The basis for successful digitization in the health care sector, however, is IT security, data protection, and compliance.
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Apart from Critical Infrastructure, Infrastructure Providers Are Often Easy Prey:

Hackers have succeeded in stealing and releasing customer and employee data from an energy supplier in Mainz. Like many other municipal providers, which due to their size do not fall within the definition of critical infrastructure, the company does not have to meet the high standards set out in German IT security legislation.
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Ransomware Security Measure Hobbles Lower Saxony’s Tax Offices:

In order to avoid being infected by Emotet and other types of malware, the tax authorities of Lower Saxony have since the beginning of the year stopped processing e-malls with file attachments or links. A secure environment for the quarantined opening of such content is presumably in the test phase.
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Cybercrime

Credential Stuffing: The Underrated Risk:

Even in spectacular security breaches, hackers don’t usually overcome any technical security hurdles, but instead often simply misuse normal login details.
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Windows POS Malware Uses DNS to Steal Credit Card Information:

A new type of malware uses the DNS protocol to steal credit card data and payment information from cash register systems without being detected. The stolen information can be used directly for transactions or even to clone credit cards.
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Cybercrime: What’s behind Digital Crime?

With increasing digitization, cybercrime continues to gain momentum and causes billions in damages to the economy, government, and society at large. Learn more about the multilayered threat from the Internet here:
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GDPR Shows Its Teeth:

Last year, about two-thirds more breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation were reported in Europe. In most cases, the violations involved unauthorized access to personal data through cyberattacks, tampering and sabotage, and the loss of non-secured mobile devices and laptops.
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Things to know

The Myra Platform at a Glance: Multisite Load Balancer:

Delayed access or even total failure of web applications and online services are unacceptable in a professional environment. Multiple redundant server systems and data centers provide a remedy for such problems. Without smart distribution of access, however, even such concepts are of little help.
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The Myra Platform at a Glance: Content Delivery Network:

What counts most on the Internet are speed and stability. If, in contrast, there are delays in loading websites or using web applications, most users leave after a few seconds and look for alternatives. That’s why companies cannot afford to sacrifice performance when doing business online.
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The Myra Platform at a Glance: DDoS Protection:

Myra DDoS Protection is an integral part of our certified Security-as-a-Service platform. The solution, developed and operated in-house, reliably and fully automatically protects web applications, websites, DNS servers, and IT infrastructure.
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June 2020

IT-Security-Trends

With Cybercrime as a Service, digital attacks become a service:

Anyone who now wants to digitally target companies no longer has to get their fingers dirty. Cyber attacks are offered as a service on the Darknet.
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DNS attacks cost companies an average of EUR 920,000:

In Germany, the financial harm caused by DNS-based attacks on companies amounts to an average of EUR 920,000. According to IDC, phishing, and DDoS attacks are among the most common types of attack.
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Why captchas alone are not enough:

Captchas protect web applications from malicious access by bots and spammers. However, the plus in security comes at the price of disadvantages in accessibility and usability. The little image and audio puzzles also present an obstacle for some human users.
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Incomplete digitization in the insurance industry:

According to a recent YouGov study, insurers score only average on the digital transformation. While data protection and IT security were rated by the majority, there were shortcomings in the user experience.
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Social engineering and phishing in perfection:

Cybercriminals forge business e-mails and websites with ever increasing precision. At first glance, the malicious fakes cannot be distinguished from the originals. Awareness and a trained eye are required to reliably spot phishing.
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SMEs underestimate the risks:

German small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly becoming the focus of cybercriminals. Compared to larger companies, however, medium-sized companies are rarely reliably protected against attacks, and there is often a lack of awareness of the problem.
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Cybercrime

Major raid against users of Darknet platform:

More than 1,400 police officers throughout Germany were involved in a major raid against users of Crimenetwork, the illegal online platform. In over 200 searches, more than 300 TByte of data material was seized, allegedly providing evidence of drug and arms trafficking, botnets, credit card abuse, and other crimes.
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Computervirus shuts down Berlin Court of Appeal for nine months:

The majority of the roughly 150 judges of the Berlin Court of Appeal have been unable to work for about nine months because their recently purchased laptops cannot be securely connected to the court’s internal network due to a lack of VPN (via Fefe).
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Financial service providers in BaFin’s sights:

In its journal, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) regularly draws attention to shady characters on the financial market who have attracted attention through questionable products and illegal practices. The black sheep at a glance:
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Things to know

IT Security Act: Big update coming up:

The IT Security Act is getting a major update in order to bring the catalogue of requirements and also the BSI itself into line with the current level of threat. In essence, the current draft law for IT Security Act 2.0 provides for an active protective role of the BSI for the government, economy, and public.
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SOC: Where all threads of cybersecurity come together:

In the Security Operation Center (SOC), IT specialists continuously analyze and evaluate all security-related data of corporate IT. The SOC’s primary task is to proactively identify and close possible vulnerabilities in systems and to actively initiate countermeasures in case of cyber attacks.
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May 2020

IT-Security-Trends

Cybercriminals exploit corona crisis for attacks:

While COVID19 is causing a global state of emergency, cybercriminals, and hacker groups are taking advantage of the situation to target critical services. In addition to the public sector, the healthcare, and financial industries are also affected by the attacks:
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Credential stuffing is increasingly becoming a problem for banks and payment service providers:

The systematic misuse of login data on the internet is one of the most frequently used tools of attack for cybercriminals. Online scammers are mainly looking for lucrative access for banking and payments.
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The Association of German Banks (BdB) sees a need for action:

Banks must expect much more sophisticated cyber attacks in 2020 than in the past. This is why coordinated measures for more IT security and industry-wide cooperation are now required:
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Mobile on the move:

Security-critical applications from the banking sector are also increasingly being used on mobile devices. It is important there to create secure platforms for financial services:
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Cybercrime

Supercomputers under fire:

A number of European high-performance data centers had to disable access to their supercomputers due to hacker attacks. The SuperMUC facility at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Garching, the Hawk high-performance computer at the Stuttgart HLRS, and the Jureca system in Jülich were also affected. The background to the cyber attacks is currently still unclear:
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Major attack on WordPress:

In a large-scale attack campaign, a hacker group took fire at over 900,000 WordPress websites. The sites were to be taken over by cross-site scripting (XSS).
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Best Practise, Defense & Mitigation

Remote work requires security by design:

Working safely away from the office is commonplace in times of corona. User-friendly IT security provides practical protection.
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IT Security Act 2.0 makes BSI a powerful cyber authority:

The new draft for an expanded IT Security Act provides for the retention of log data, among other things. The office is also to be expanded by about 600 positions, according to plans by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CDU):
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Cybersecurity and business must work in harmony:

Gartner analysts are calling for decision-makers to make IT security a business-critical area in companies. After all, cybersecurity decisions have a direct impact on business results – not least due of the impact of the corona pandemic:
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Things to know

What exactly does the BSI do?

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is committed to the protection of IT systems in government agencies, companies, and private households. Find out what they do in detail here:
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There will be cybercriminals for as long as the money keeps rolling in:

Digital attackers usually act out of monetary interests. Current studies show that in 9 out of 10 cases cyber attacks are financially motivated:
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