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It should not be the case that someone who designs computer programs to break into servers via a software loophole and thus causes losses in the millions receives a suspended sentence, explains the head of the BKA . He also sees a disconnect between the more lenient penalties for those who set up online platforms to trade in drugs and weapons and the tougher penalties for those who sell drugs on those trading platforms.

Münch is thus addressing issues that which are a concern for companies and private individuals alike. The technologies that are brought together under the collective term Industry 4.0 offer not only obvious efficiency gains and cost benefits but also significantly larger areas for cyber attacks. According to a survey on behalf of Bitkom , eight out of ten citizens would like politicians to take a tougher stance on Internet crime.

The German Criminal Code (StGB) effectively already provides for sentences of several years of imprisonment for typical computer crimes, including data espionage ( Section 202a StGB ), interception of data ( 202b ), alteration of data ( 303a ) and computer sabotage ( 303b ). In particularly serious cases, perpetrators who are found guilty face up to ten years’ imprisonment. In practice, however, sentences are often much more lenient. The programmer of the Sasser worm, for example, got off with a juvenile sentence of one year and nine months , which was also then suspended.