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After hacker attack on the Meeresum in Stralsund: problems continue | > – News

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After hacker attack on the Meeresum in Stralsund: problems continue |  > – News

As of: April 16, 2024 2:56 p.m

On the night of March 15, 2024, hackers penetrated the systems of the German Oceanographic Museum. Since then, many things have only been done analogously. Such cyber attacks are not an isolated case for the country’s authorities.

by Lars Kohstall

The morning after the attack, things had to happen very quickly at the German Maritime Museum in Stralsund: “When our system administrator came in in the morning, he immediately noticed that something was wrong and shut down the entire system. Apparently a group of hackers tried one system after the other under their control,” said Burkard Baschek, director of the German Oceanographic Museum.

Vital systems continued to operate

The method behind it: Hackers encrypt the data and a ransom is offered. The perpetrators may only release the data again as soon as those affected pay the required amount. According to its own statements, the German Maritime Museum was largely able to prevent this because it reacted quickly. The popular Oceaneum is part of the German Maritime Museum. Here, the vital systems for the animals, which regulate the temperature and oxygen supply of the aquariums, could be kept running.

Restrictions for employees and visitors

Visitors can still visit the Oceaneum – but with restrictions.

However, some digital systems have not yet been back online since the attack. In practice, this means holding meetings in person on site instead of sending emails. Many computers are not yet ready for use again. The hacker attack also affects visitors to the Meeresum: Anyone who wants to buy tickets or take a souvenir with them has to pay in cash. It could take until the summer before IT specialists can start up the system again in a fully secure manner.

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Cyber ​​attacks are becoming more common

Incidents like the one at the Maritime Museum alert the cybercrime department of the State Criminal Police Office. More and more hacker attacks are landing on the desk of department head Maik Schröder. “It’s not a question of if, but when you will become a victim of cybercrime.” Organizations are not yet sufficiently prepared for the growing danger. “A good two-thirds of all damage suffered by companies was caused by cybercrime.” It is usually difficult to determine who is behind such attacks.

The Institute for IT Security in Stralsund wants to raise awareness

Stralsund University founded the first IT institute for IT security in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 2023.

A study by the digital association Bitkom assumes that hackers in Germany will have caused damage worth around 206 billion euros in 2023. Stralsund University responded to the growing number of digital attacks in 2023 and founded the Institute for Secure Mobile Communication – ISMK for short. Experts are supposed to research how cybercriminals operate and develop solutions against the attacks. Students should also be trained to later strengthen the cybersecurity of companies and thus prevent attacks.

Phishing emails are the most commonly used method

The majority of malware is spread in organizations via phishing emails, according to ISMK Institute Director Prof. Andreas Noack. These fake emails trick employees into downloading malware or sending internal data to the fraudsters. It is enough for an employee to download the contents of a malicious phishing email to paralyze entire systems.

Cybercriminals even more effective through AI

With the help of AI, hackers can become even more effective.

Noack also sees the danger that criminals can be even more effective through the use of artificial intelligence: “It is sometimes impossible to distinguish whether an email is fake or real.” It is therefore important to check whether the sender actually belongs to your own organization or whether the email was sent externally.

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Organizations must act

This makes it all the more urgent that organizations train their employees to deal with possibly fake content. To achieve this, companies should maintain an open error culture: If employees have downloaded suspicious content, this must be reported to administrators immediately. It is also important to update the systems regularly and create backups. This also applies to every private user. If in doubt, the police should also be contacted.

Further information

From the Baltic and North Seas to the Atlantic: In the Oceaneum, visitors can experience the underwater world of the north up close. more

A journey from Stralsund through the Baltic and North Seas to the Atlantic – the Oceaneum shows the underwater world of the north. more

Workshops, guided tours and feeding await visitors on the 15th anniversary of the Natural History Museum in Stralsund. more

This topic in the program:

NDR 1 Radio MV | News from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania | April 16, 2024 | 19:30 o’clock

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