The hack and data theft from the International Monetary Fund’s computers can be linked to a “foreign government,” according to an insecurity expert.
A large quantity of data, including documents and e-mails, was stolen during the attack. The IMF approved a record $91.7 billion in emergency loans last year and provided a third of bailout packages in Europe.
Bloomberg spoke to one of its deep throats within the IMF who said that the spooks had traced the attack to an unnamed foreign power.
David Hawley, an IMF spokesman refused to say anything about the attack on the fund.
Fund employees were told about hackers this month and told not to open e-mails and video links without authenticating the source. In otherwords it was an effective phishing campaign.
An email from the IMF’s chief information officer, Jonathan Palmer, warned employees of increased phishing activity the fund’s network connection to the World Bank was cut as a security measure.
This is the same attack method which was used to turn over the Oak Ridge National Laboratory this year. In that case the malware was downloaded through an email supposedly coming from the HR. Ten percent of the 570 recipients clicked on a link, infecting several machines connected to the lab’s network.
The name “China” has been bandied about as being responsible for the attack.
Security experts say that the Chinese authorities are not bashful when it comes to cyber attacks. However the government always denies it was involved and claims it is just as much a victim.