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 Personal 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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?