Hackers are not only getting into gaming sites; they are eyeing the monetary world as well. It is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this time. This happened just after a day Citibank faced cyber attack and names, account numbers and email addresses of more than 200,000 North Americans Citibank account holders were compromised.
Before we move ahead and discuss the story in detail, let us try to understand the difference between phishing and spear phishing. While phishing floods millions of email inboxes and relies on mass attack, spear phishing is more about selectively targeting individuals who have been identified previously. That means spear phishing can potentially attack a small bunch of people working in the same organization.
It appears that some foreign government was behind the data breach. According to IMF spokesman David Hawley the incident was under investigation and the fund was completely functional. Fox News reported that the IMF’s computers had been hacked into similar to the latest incident in November 2008 via malicious software.
The World Bank deactivated a cyberlink it has with the IMF as one of IMF’s desktop was compromised and large quantity of data was obtained. The hackers had deliberately infected a computer at the IMF with malware trained to steal information. This is a new kind of malware, one that gave hackers broad access toIMF’s systems – helping to gain ‘hot market’ information. Email warnings about “increased phishing activity”were received on June 1 and employees were warned against opening emails from unknown senders, access suspicious video links or click on attachments . IMF had sent an internal memo on June 8 about the actual cyber-attacks to its board members and employees.
Political foes, especially China, could be behind the attack as data related to monetary policies is of utmost value. The IMF studies the economic stability of its 187 members and analyzes each nation’s financial risk. It supervises the global financial system and recently played a major role in the economic bailout of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. This came as a rude shock when the country was just grappling with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s sexual asasult scandal.
Unless the IMF reveals more information about what data was compromised and how it happened, it is difficult to figure out who was behind the attack and the extent of the loss. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is in charge of this investigation.
Contact Alertsec for your data security needs
It is clear that the security of world’s large corporations is at risk. In the absence of full disk encryption, valuable files can be accessed. To keep your sensitive data safe from thefts and hacking, it is vital to use Data encryption software. Data loss prevention systems can also reduce the loss of information. Investing $13/month gives an organization peace of mind. A very small price to pay compared to losing high-quality or sensitive data. Alertsec Xpress offers a very good and easy-to-use laptop security service that includes more than the traditional software licensing model. Feel free to subscribe for your personal 30-day free trial