On Thursday, a press statement released by German steelmaker ThyssenKruppclaimed that it had been targeted in ‘massive’ cyber attacks which resulted in technical data being stolen. The security breaches were attributed to unnamed attackers located in Southeast Asia. A formalcriminal complaint of cyber crime has been filed with police in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
ThyssenKrupp Hacked- Do you really need to be worried?
The attacks were discovered in April and traced back to February when hackers stole project data from ThyssenKrupp’s plant engineering division and other areas which are yet to be determined.
- The company statement went on add that secured systems operating steel blast furnaces and power plants in Duisburg, in Germany’s industrial heartland in the Ruhr Valley, were unaffected.
- No breaches have been found at other businesses ranging from elevators to its marine systems unit, which produces military submarines and warships; ThyssenKrupp is a major supplier of steel to Germany’s automotive sector and other manufacturing areas.
ThyssenKrupp’s Cyber Security Breach- Exactly what were hacked?
The company did not identify which documents were stolen and said it could not estimate the scale of the intellectual property losses as of now. More updates are said to follow this announcement, which comes a good ten months after the first discovery of the attacks. Exactly why ThyssenKrupp decided to wait before lodging a formal complaint is unknown.
The management is said to have been alerted at an early stage. Exactly what ‘technical trade secrets’ as stated by the company were stolen remains to be seen. These attacks are not random and neither are localised; India, for example, witnessed a mega security breach in October this year when 3.2 million debit cards had to be cancelled & re-issued post a hacking attack
Astute readers will remember a data breach that was denied but then accepted by our defence ministry where a set of classified data related to the Scorpene submarine was leaked and later published by an Australian daily. Plans to acquire more Scorpene subs were shelved. ThyssenKrupp being one of the major suppliers to the German defence forces may fear similar intentions behind the cyber attack. The german giant will probably sue the hackers, assuming they can be identified, but they may never win a case in court. They will almost certainly defend their fort better next time. The hackers, on the other hand, have a win-win situation as they stand to reap dividends by selling the data to global and domestic rivals. Nort Korea is a habitual offender when it comes to buying leaked information too.