This is starting to get out of hand.
Today, the New York Times is reporting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the organization responsible for overseeing the global financial system, recently suffered a major cyberattack.
Six months into 2011, it’s safe to say this is the year of the hack. Sony saw its PlayStation Network dismantled and a couple of its international music sites hacked, while rival Nintendo found itself the target of a digital data attack. Citibank recently suffered a massive security breach with hundreds of thousands of user accounts left compromised.
According to the report, the breaches occurred over the past few months. IMF officials only told staffers last week about the incident. Officials called the attack “sophisticated”, and think it was done using a technique called “spear phishing” where a user working in the targeted network clicks a hyperlink in an e-mail that was sent from an shady source. Once clicked, malicious software is installed that grants hackers access to the targeted network. In this case, the target was IMF’s internal network.
Due to its heavy dealings with the IMF, the World Bank cut its data link with the organization while the security details were being worked out. Things are now back to normal between the two. The IMF has not said what information was accessed by the hackers or whether or not it knows where the attack originated.
The IMF was recently in the news when its former chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a housekeeper at NYC's Sofitel Hotel.