Online services down for German craft associations following ‘security incident’


The websites and online services for multiple Chambers of Crafts in Germany are down following a “security incident” that appears to have impacted a managed service provider.

A statement on the parent organization’s website, which is still online, says that the cyberattack affected an unidentified IT service’s data center and was discovered during the first week of January.

“As a result, all systems in the affected chambers were taken offline and the network connections to the Chambers of Crafts were severed,” the statement explains.

Websites for the affected Chambers currently state they are unavailable “due to a system failure,” although they are still reachable by telephone and email, and remain open to on-site visits.

According to the statement “intensive work is currently being done to assess and resolve the incident,” and cautions that “a data leak cannot be ruled out.”

There are 16 Chambers of Crafts in Germany that function as trade associations and guilds. Membership is compulsory for workers in craft trades — from carpenters to plumbers, bakers and butchers — and the chambers regulate vocational training and promote the craft industry’s interests.

Axel Fuhrmann, the general manager of the Düsseldorf Chamber of Crafts, said that “exams, further training courses and inter-company apprentice training (ÜLU) that have already been scheduled” will still take place.

However, those undertaking courses will not be able to access any resources on the Chambers’ websites. “It is not yet possible to predict when unrestricted access to the website and online services will be possible again,” according to the statement.

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Alexander Martin is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.


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