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German cybersecurity authorities reveal security flaws in health apps

16 Jun 2021

BERLIN, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Many health apps in Germany, which became increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, had significant security flaws, according to the Digital Consumer Protection 2020 report published by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on Wednesday.

The report analyzed seven health applications for smartphones that were not subject to any particular regulations and whose costs were not covered by Germany's public health insurance. None of the apps fully met the security requirements of the BSI guideline for health apps.

As a significant proportion of examined apps as well as many of the involved providers were processing sensitive data, the situation had to be rated "at least as critical," according to BSI, which is also responsible for data security for the German government.

The COVID-19 warning app, which is officially supported by the government, also showed security flaws, said the BSI report. Back in August, German hacker club Chaos Computer Club (CCC) revealed that it was possible to access contact-tracking records for 4.8 million people.

"Digitalization can only succeed if information security is considered from the outset," said BSI President Arne Schoenbohm. "We want to work toward this change in thinking in a cooperative and informative way."

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