World Bank cut connection to IMF after "major" cyberattack

Leaderless organisation penetrated by hackers

Hackers - <i>Image credit: [[xref:http://chasness.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/top-five-hacking-movies/|Chas Andrews' Movie Blog]]</i>

Hackers - Image credit: [[xref:http://chasness.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/top-five-hacking-movies/|Chas Andrews' Movie Blog]]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has admitted to being the victim of a cyberattack so serious that its global partner the World Bank temporarily decided to cut all computer links between the two organisations.

The precise nature of the attack and when it happened was not revealed to the New York Times, which broke the story, but is believed to have been some months before its now deposed head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was accused of the sexual assault on a New York hotel chambermaid.

This much can be gleaned from the coded details revealed in the outline story; this was most likely an utterly standard targeted attack that started with one or more individuals in the organisation receiving an email, apparently from a trusted contact, which asked them to run an attachment.

Once run, the target for any malware executed at that point would, presumably, have been unencrypted confidential documentation, including emails, hosted elsewhere on the network. Exactly how successful the attack was has not, of course, been stated but it was severe enough for one unnamed official to be quoted as describing it "as a very major breach."

After being discovered, the World Bank, headquartered only yards from the IMF in Washington DC, disconnected itself from the latter to avoid becoming a collateral victim. That suggests the malware had an unsurprising ability to spread.

This style of attack is identical to those sweeping over every organisation in the world of any political or economic significance as evidenced by a clutch of recent high-profile attacks. It is becoming easier to state who has not been attacked than who has, including the UK Government, Google, Sony, defence contractor Lockheed Martin, and most seriously or all, RSA Security.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityPersonal Tech

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?