By Oisin Sweeney • 30 December 2020 • 10:57
Image source: Twitter
A MASSIVE cyber attack has taken down one of Germany’s largest newsgroups during the Christmas holidays.
Hackers took down thousands of computers operated by the Funke Media Group, who publish numerous newspapers and magazines across Germany. The company announced on Monday that 6000 computers had been “potentially infected” by the attack according to Deutsche Welle, while IT experts scramble to create a “quarantine” network to evade further infections.
The attack forced the group to cancel or offer drastically reduced “emergency” editions of most of their publications. Andreas Tyrock, editor-in-chief of one of the group’s major titles, told DW that “all editorial systems and the entire technology for newspaper production had been fun switched off”.
Although the company has yet to comment on a potential motive for the attack, it is highly likely the hackers were cybercriminals in search of ransom. Such crimes are increasingly common, with sophisticated digital gangs demanding Bitcoin in return for surrendering stolen or infected networks.
Experts say that such attacks have been gaining popularity among criminals for the last decade, and now thousands of ransomware crimes occur every day around the world. Some analysts believe that many hacking groups, particularly those based in Eastern Europe and Asia, are state-sponsored.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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