The International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears to have fallen victim to a sophisticated hacking attempt, although it’s unclear if any data was exposed.
The New York Times reports that the organisation, which oversees the global financial system, suffered a “large and sophisticated cyberattack” at some point in the past few months. While staff at the IMF were reportedly informed of the incident this week, the Fund has not publicly released any details of the hack.
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This is particularly concerning because the IMF oversees financial bailouts for struggling nations. As such, it is likely to hold incredibly sensitive data about the monetary health of many countries. This information, in the wrong hands – such as rival nations or opposition political parties – has the potential to cause immense political disruption.
An IMF spokesperson told the NYT “We are investigating an incident, and the fund is fully functional,” however the Fund is not making public any details about whether any sensitive information on its servers was successfully accessed or not. However, the World Bank, which is based close to the IMF in Washington, DC, has apparently disconnected a direct cable link which was used to share information between the two organisations, as a precaution while the attack is investigated.
The attack is further stress for the IMF, which is in a period of reorganisation following the arrest last month of its then-Managing Director on a sexual assault charge.