A new survey conducted exclusively for Handelsblatt finds that the number of corporate espionage attacks on German companies originating from North America are on the rise and are costing the nation’s economy tens of billions of euros.
The study also raises new concerns about Germany’s relationship with the United States in the wake of an ongoing spy scandal that has chilled diplomatic relations between the longtime friends and allies.
A study of 6,700 German firms by the security counseling firm Corporate Trust, a German consultant, found that cyber attacks originating from North America were just as likely to be directed at corporations as political targets. Munich-based Corporate Trust conducted the survy with help from Zurich Insurance Group, Securiton AG, a German security technology maker and the British risk-management firm Aon plc.
In the survey, 21.9% of respondents said they could trace cyber intrusions to North American sites.
Almost 6 percent of respondents said they had traced the source of attacks to foreign intelligence services. Given the high level of professionalism and state-of-the-art spying technology, it’s likely the actual number of attacks from foreign spy services is much greater.