CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

IMF cyber attack aimed to steal insider info

06-13-2011 09:32 BJT Special Report:IMF Chief Arrested for Sexual Assault |

WASHINGTON/LONDON - A major cyber attack on the IMF aimed to steal sensitive insider information, a cyber security expert said on Sunday, as the race to lead the body which oversees global financial system heated up.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping to investigate the attack on the International Monetary Fund, the latest in a rash of cyber break-ins that have targeted high-profile companies and institutions.

"The IMF attack was clearly designed to infiltrate the IMF with the intention of gaining sensitive 'insider privileged information'," cyber security specialist Mohan Koo, who is also Managing Director, Dtex Systems (UK), told Reuters in London.

A June 8 internal memo from Chief Information Officer Jonathan Palmer told staff the Fund had detected suspicious file transfers and that an investigation had shown a desktop computer "had been compromised and used to access some Fund systems".

"At this point, we have no reason to believe that any personal information was sought for fraud purposes," it said.

The New York Times cited computer experts as saying the IMF's board of directors was told of the attack on Wednesday, though the assault had lasted several months.

The IMF says its remains "fully functional" but has declined to comment on the extent of the attack or the nature of the intruders' goal.

EMBOLDENED

Jeff Moss, a self-described computer hacker and member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committee, said he believed the attack was conducted on behalf of a nation-state looking to either steal sensitive information about key IMF strategies or embarrass the organization to undermine its clout.

He said it could inspire attacks on other large institutions. "If they can't catch them, I'm afraid it might embolden others to try," said Moss, who is chief security officer for ICANN.

Tom Kellerman, a cybersecurity expert who has worked for both the IMF and the World Bank, said the intruders had aimed to install software that would give a nation state a "digital insider presence" on the IMF network.

That could yield a trove of non-public economic data used by the Fund to promote exchange rate stability, support balanced international trade and provide resources to remedy members' balance-of-payments crises.

"It was a targeted attack," said Kellerman, who serves on the board of a group known as the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance.

The code used in the IMF incident was developed specifically for the attack on the institution, said Kellerman, formerly responsible for cyber-intelligence within the World Bank's treasury team and now chief technology officer at AirPatrol, a cyber consultancy.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program