Holger Münch

President of the Federal Criminal Police Office


The Federal Criminal Police Office recorded 87,106 cases of cybercrime in 2018.  The damage amounts to about 61 million euros. "But these are only the cases that are reported," said BKA President Holger Münch. The number of unreported cases in this area is enormous, he said. His office  assumes more than 90 percent. "Many don't report the damage because they think it's irrelevant or because they believe - and this should make us think - that reporting it won't do any good anyway."

Cybercrime is a major challenge for police and the Federal Criminal Police Office. It comes in  very different forms: phishing, extortion with ransomware, DDoS attacks, underground economy on the darknet, or even crime as a service - crime on demand. Attacks on critical infrastructures are also increasingly an issue for the BKA.

"Classic crimes such as extortion or fraud are being acted out with more and more frequency  on the net," Münch added. But his agency can also boast spectacular successes. In April, for example, the online platform  “Wall Street Market” was shut down on  the darknet, where some 1.15 million registered customers could purchase drugs, weapons or digital identities. "It's not expensive and there's a big market," Münch said  of the goods traded there. Verified credit card data, for example, is available on the darknet for as little as eight dollars. The authorities  had been investigating this area  since 2017 and were eventually able to catch the masterminds.

"Cyberspace must not be allowed to become a legal vacuum ," Münch emphasized. In response to the rise in online crime, his agency has created a new cybercrime department that is developing adapted defensive methods. A Europe-wide platform for the exchange of methods is also in the works as well as efforts toward strengthening cooperation with industry.