German Chambers of Industry and Commerce hit by ‘massive’ cyberattack


The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) was forced to shut down all of its IT systems and switch off digital services, telephones, and email servers, in response to a cyberattack.

DIHK is a coalition of 79 chambers representing companies within the German state, with over three million members comprising businesses ranging from small shops to large enterprises in the country.

The organization deals with legal representation, consultation, foreign trade promotion, training, regional economic development, and offers general support services to its members.

Hackers breach DIHK

A short statement published on the DIHK site describes the shutdown as a precaution and a way to give IT teams time to develop a solution and build up defense.

Notice of a cyberattack on the DIHK site (translated)Notice of a cyberattack on the DIHK site (translated)

Some services for companies are being made gradually available again after a thorough checking to ensure that it would be safe to use them. However, the restoration is only partial at this time.

The General Manager of DIHK, Michael Bergmann, has informed the public via a LinkedIn post that the cyberattack occurred yesterday, Wednesday, and characterized the incident as ‘massive.’

Bergmann's statement on LinkedIn Bergmann’s statement on LinkedIn

“At this stage, we cannot predict how long the (urgent shutdown) measures will be necessary,” commented Bergmann.

While the cyberattack carries the signs of ransomware, with systems being shut down to prevent the spread of the malware, this hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

Also, there have been no announcements of successfully compromising DIHK on any of the major ransomware extortion sites, although it would be too early for that.

German tech news portal reports that the attack’s impact appears to have no regional focus, as individual divisions in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bavaria, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have all confirmed facing problems.

For example, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Köln informed the public that phone lines work to a limited extent, while its website was still offline at the time of this writing.

Koln tweet

In Köln’s case, the shutdown of the systems is also presented as a precautionary measure, which further strengthens the hypothesis of a ransomware attack.

Bleeping Computer is in the process of collecting more information on the incident, and we will update this post as soon as we know more.


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