FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German banks are increasingly being attacked by criminals using information technology to hack into their systems, the head of Germany's banking watchdog told a newspaper.
"This is a huge topic which we are intensively working on," Bafin president Felix Hufeld told Boersen-Zeitung's Saturday edition.
"Today, huge mafia-like, criminal organizations exist, which are set up like corporations and invest unbelievably much time and money to develop an IT firepower, which exceeds everything what you could imagine until now," Hufeld said.
While banks are generally aware that they must do more to protect themselves, tackling cyber attacks is 'a learning curve' for everyone involved, he said.
At this stage, Bafin has only anecdotal evidence of the IT problems at German banks and statistical data, Hufeld said.
Hacking and cyber crime is a problem that banks and corporations face world wide.
Earlier this month, online foreign exchange broker FXCM became the latest U.S. corporation to become a victim of a cybersecurity attack, adding to a list that includes Target Corp, Apple and JPMorgan.
On the same day, Deutsche Telekom's U.S. unit T-Mobile said that personal data of about 15 million of its U.S. subscribers may have been stolen in a breach at a unit of Experian, which processes the telecom carrier's credit applications.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze. Editing by Jane Merriman)