On Thursday, the day after a major tech meltdown at Lufthansa Airlines, the websites of at least three German airports were disrupted, according to Reuters. Affected airports included Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, and Dortmund. However, the websites of Germany’s biggest airports in Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin were reportedly operating normally.
When asked about the cause of the outage, a spokesperson for Dortmund Airport suggested that it was unlikely to be due to a chronic overload. They also offered that there was reason to suspect it could be a hacker attack.
Focus Online initially reported the outage but gave no reason for the problem. Spiegel Online reported that a DDoS attack could have caused the problems. A DDoS attack is when high volumes of internet traffic are directed to targeted servers to knock them offline. This attack is often used by so-called “hacktivists” as a relatively unsophisticated way to take systems down.
Lufthansa’s tech meltdown is believed to have been caused by a similar cyber attack. The airline’s systems were shut down for several hours on Wednesday, causing around 800 flights to be canceled and leading to thousands of passengers being stranded. It is unclear whether the disruption to the airport websites on Thursday was linked to the Lufthansa incident.
It is a worrying sign that the German air travel infrastructure is vulnerable to this attack. The government must improve cyber security and ensure malicious actors cannot take down critical systems. Such attacks can cause significant disruption, and it is important to ensure that Germany’s airports can continue operating safely and smoothly.