In February, Germany’s cybersecurity agency had stated, the country had experienced a big increase in the number of security incidents hitting critical infrastructure, including power grids and water suppliers. German broadcasters BR and NDR had reported on these incidents.
In a significant development, Germany’s largest drugmaker, Bayer stated it had mitigated a cyber attack on its computer networks that it believes was hatched in China.
The development highlighting the risks of data theft and disruption to its big business.
Bayer detected the infectious software early last year. Instead of disclosing it, Bayer covertly monitored and analyzed it until the end of last month and then cleared it from its systems last month.
“There is no evidence of data theft,” said Bayer.
According to a statement from its spokesman, the overall damage was still being assessed and that German state prosecutors had launched an investigation.
“This type of attack points toward the ‘Wicked Panda’ group in China, according to security experts,” said the spokesman, citing DCSO, a cyber security group set up by Bayer in 2015 with German partners Allianz, BASF and Volkswagen.
According to Bayer, the infection also bore the hallmarks of Winnti, an umbrella term for groups that are believed to include Wicked Panda.
Bayer’s spokesman stated, third-party personal data was not compromised.
However, Bayer stated, has yet to determine when the cyber attack started.