Cyber Attack on UN offices in Geneva and Vienna

A statement released by United Nations yesterday says that its offices in Geneva and Vienna fell prey to a cyber attack which was caused in the middle of last year. Sources say that the hackers managed to access the database storing user accounts, but then after establishing their position went dormant for reasons.

 

UN’s Geneva Office has clarified that the cyber incident was discovered on August 30th, 2019 and Prima Facie confirmed that the infiltration could have been possibly taken place a month ago i.e. in July’19.

 

It is confirmed that Dozens of Servers in the United Nations including those related to Human Rights Offices as well as Human Resource Departments were compromised in the incident as admin level accounts were breached. All the staff, organizations and individuals related to the UN were asked to change their passwords to curb any security failure.

 

What’s interesting in this incident is the fact that the UN did not disclose this incident to the World or the Data Protection authorities. In fact, it circulated an alert to his staff in early September and briefed them only some facts in the email alert.

 

According to a senior UN official, the incident accounted for a major IT meltdown affecting core infrastructure works. But the authorities chose not to disclose the incident for reasons.

 

Note- As Geneva and Vienna are a home to many UN offices like the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Office of Drugs and Crime, The World Health Organization, the High Commissioners office for Refugees, The World Trade Organization, The High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Human Rights Council the incident is reported to be very serious.

 

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson of the UN confirmed the incident and said that the organization which works for International Peace has taken all necessary measures to avoid such IT failures in the future.

 

Note- Security Analysts suggest that the hackers could have been aiming for something big and so succeeded in infiltrating the network and then just chose to lay dormant.

 

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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