German Media Group Suffers Ransomware Attack in December 2020

2020 has been a banner year for cyber attacks, with the COVID-19 pandemic inadvertently leading to a massive uptick in the number of attacks. Some of the major victims include the US Treasury Department and the Funke Media Group, which is one of the largest German media houses in Europe. In late-December of 2020, they were subjected to one of the most serious and sustained cyber attacks in recent times.

Ransomware Plagues the Funke Group Servers

IT experts from the Funke Media group said that the hackers gained access to their servers and encrypted all of the data they had. Many said that the hackers also demanded a ransom to be paid to them, in BitCoin, so that they would lift the encryption for them. This attack forced several major German newspapers to shut down over the entire Christmas weekend.

The media group said in a press conference that more than 6000 of its devices had been infected by this ransomware attack. The media company was in a state of frenzy, since it has more than 6000 people in its employ who were currently sitting empty because of the attack. All of the editorial and newspaper production technology has to be shut down and locked up to prevent further damage.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Usually, the ransomware malware gets delivered to the host network or system in the form of a phishing email or URL. If the network doesn’t have a strong VPN like getmoreprivacy, then the ransomware installs itself on the network. When it is activated, it encrypts all of the files that are on the disk. The encrypted files are then ransomed for a BitCoin payment.

Ransomware Protection Tips

  • Backup All Your Info: Take all of your info and back it up regularly onto a secure location. This will help you to save your information from being used against you in the case of an attack.
  • Use Protective Software: Install antivirus software, firewalls, etc. to protect your system from incursions. You should also practice caution and avoid clicking on email links that come from suspicious sources.
  • Develop a Worst Case Scenario Plan: You should also have a worst case scenario plan in place so that your organization doesn’t suffer in case a ransomware attack does happen.


This is all you need to know about the recent ransomware attack that Funke Media Group was subjected to. Information on self-protection against ransomware attacks has also been provided.