Tuesday, June 14, 2011

International monetary fund hit by hackers

The International Monetary Fund, which manages global financial crises, has been the target of a major cyber attack by hackers seeking access to confidential information about economies across the world.
The IMF collects sensitive information about the financial systems of its 187 member nations Photo: REUTERS 
The IMF announced earlier this week that they were compromised by an unknown attacker using a "Spear-Fishing" attack. For those of you who aren't familiar with "Spear Fishing", it is a method of attack where the attacker gathers information on the company and compiles a list of users/employees, then uses social engineering to coerce the users to view an e-mail or website which activates an attack on their computers. The Spear Fishing attacks are typically delivered by email that either contains an attack file such as a modified PDF, Excel, or Word document, or contains a link to an attack site using something that might trick the user into visiting the site (e.g. Company 2010 policy changes).

This news is most troubling, as the IMF collects private and confidential data from countries around the world concerning their financial well-being, including the status of their currency and spending habits. With this information, the attacker could potentially exploit the confidential information for personal gain, or in an extreme situation, destabilize the currency of a country. Scary stuff indeed.

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Heather said...

Interesting...could it be Lulzsec or possibly someone else? This is definitely cyberterrorism..let's hope they were just trying to cause an uproar and that they don't try to release the information or destroy anyone's currencies.

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