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City of Potsdam offline again

After a cyber attack at the end of last year, the city of Potsdam took its servers offline as a precaution. After investigations and fixes, at least the email server went back online relatively quickly. Now the rest of the city’s servers followed – but were immediately taken offline again after a warning from an antivirus system. It is unclear how long the Potsdam city administration will be offline.

Recurring cyberattacks on the city of Potsdam

The capital of the state of Brandenburg has repeatedly been the target of cyberattacks in recent years. In 2020, unknown persons managed to penetrate the servers of the state capital via a vulnerability in the Citrix system. At that time, too, the city administration went completely offline. Only after more than a year were all digital services fully available again. In late 2022, the incident repeated itself – and its consequences have yet to be remedied.

After discovering the attack, the city administration turned to the state administration as well as the relevant security authorities. Thus, in addition to criminal investigations, the protection of the servers should be ensured. After some time without Internet connection, at least e-mail accessibility was restored relatively quickly.

Stadthaus Potsdam
The city of Potsdam has repeatedly been the target of cyberattacks (Image: Stadthaus Potsdam)

Antivirus system strikes

Now the rest of the servers should be reconnected to the network. This would fully restore the digital accessibility of the city administration. However, right at the beginning of the test run, the city’s anti-virus system reported: it had detected numerous automated communication attempts from inside the server to the outside. In order to enable further corrections and to reduce the danger to the city administration’s data, all servers were subsequently taken offline again.

According to press reports, there was no encryption of data on the servers. Data theft was also reportedly not detected. Further developments are not yet foreseeable. The only thing that is clear is that investigations of both a technical and criminal nature will continue.

Potsdam offline: Enormous restrictions at city administration

For the people of Potsdam, all this means enormous restrictions. Numerous requests cannot be processed by the city administration at the moment. For example, applying for housing subsidies, registering and re-registering, registering vehicles or issuing IDs and passports is currently not possible. The consequences can be drastic. For example, people who are dependent on housing subsidies but cannot apply for them face enormous financial problems. The inability to issue passports could prevent travel abroad. It is impossible to predict how long the problems will persist. Mayor Mike Schubert made the following comments in this regard: The city will remain offline “until we can rule out that there is any danger to citizens’ data, the servers of the state capital Potsdam or our partners.”

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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After a cyber attack at the end of last year, the city of Potsdam took its servers offline as a precaution. After investigations and fixes, at least the email server went back online relatively quickly. Now the rest of the city’s servers followed – but were immediately taken offline again after a warning from an … (Weiterlesen...)

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