The problem of cybercrime is growing year by year. While the numbers of burglaries in apartments or houses continue to decline, penetrating server structures and stealing sensitive data via the World Wide Web is apparently becoming more and more interesting. It has long since ceased to be only federal authorities or large companies that become victims. It has now become known that even educational institutions can become targets. Apparently, the Technical University in Berlin (TU Berlin) was the victim of a cyber attack last year. This not only resulted in many weeks of problems in the university’s IT structure. On top of that, 5566 important files with sensitive content were probably stolen.
Many sensitive data affected
Even though the attack has now been over a year, the effects are still being felt. This is hardly surprising given the nature of the stolen files. In particular, documents such as certificates, reports, job applications and also passwords are said to have been stolen in the cyber attack. For its part, the TU Berlin has informed the students and employees affected. No less serious were the effects of the hacker attack on the general IT structure of the TU. Since the educational institution had to shut down the entire system as a precautionary measure to prevent further attacks, this had a negative impact on many functions. As a result, the system suffered noticeable limitations for many months. Considering that in 2021 the Internet was the only interface to the university for many students due to Corona, this problem weighs all the more heavily.
IT system now restored
Rebuilding IT was a difficult and, more importantly, lengthy task. Fortunately, the IT department decided in time to set priorities. Consequently, the initial focus was on making the courses, which were primarily held online, accessible again. Within two days, the courses were up and running again. In contrast, the mail server was only accessible again after almost a month. Internal processes were hit even harder. The accounting department, for example, was only able to resume its digital operations a quarter of a year after the cyber attack. Then, a full six months after the hacker attack, the website’s nearly complete service was available to students and staff again.
But rebuilding the IT system not only took a long time. It was also extremely costly. The TU Berlin states that it has now spent almost 445,000 euros to restore the IT and also to ensure higher security standards. However, this sum does not include the damage caused by the attack. Ultimately, the TU Berlin may well be hit by a flood of claims for damages from the people affected. There are no other addressees for this so far. Finally, the LKA Berlin is still keeping a low profile by naming suspects. However, the usual investigative tactical reasons are certainly behind this.