Security of International Monetary Fund communications in doubt

Alexandra Frean
The Australian

THE International Monetary Fund has become the latest multinational organisation to fall victim to a hacking attack, raising questions about the security of internet-based communications.

The attack comes at a highly sensitive time for the IMF, which is in the throes of appointing a new successor after the shock arrest and resignation last month of its previous managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

News of the cyber-attack came as Stanley Fischer, the Governor of the Bank of Israel and a former IMF second-in-command, threw his hat into the ring for the position of IMF chief, challenging Christine Lagarde, the French Finance Minister who is the strong favourite for the job, and Agustin Carstens, the head of Mexico’s central bank…

…The succession battle and hacking attack come as the IMF, which regulates the global financial system, in part by providing loans, aid and debt relief, is at a highly sensitive point in negotiations about bailout programmes for Greece, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland.

It was unclear yesterday how these activities and others may have been affected by the attack.

David Hawley, an IMF spokesman, said that the fund remained “fully functional” while the incident was being investigated, but said that he would not elaborate on the extent or nature of the attack…

The complete article is at The Australian.

Update: At Business Insider, Inside The Terrifying IMF Hack: Who The Hackers Were And What They Took

As if the fact that the International Monetary Fund was hacked in a “very major breach” isn’t terrifying enough, Bloomberg now speculates that the hackers were from a foreign government.

Someone familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the IMF was “attacked by hackers believed to be connected to a foreign government.”

Now to help with the investigation, “the FBI is working this with IMF,” the spokeswoman, Lieutenant Colonel April Cunningham of the Air Force told Reuters

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