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IMF struck by cyber attack

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The International Monetary Fund was recently struck by a cyber attack on its computer system, but just what the incident entailed isn't being disclosed.

"I can confirm that we are investigating an incident," David Hawley, a spokesman for the IMF, said in an email. "I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber-security incident."

Hawley declined to say whether any sensitive data was stolen from the IMF, an international group that oversees the financial system of its 187 member nations.

He also wouldn't say when the attack took place or how the IMF was altered to the issue, stating only that "we became aware of the incident recently" and that "the Fund is fully functional."

Word of the cyber attack was first reported Saturday by the New York Times, which cited unnamed sources who described the situation as a "large and sophisticated cyberattack" that "had occurred over the last several months."

Bloomberg later on Saturday reported that IMF officals, also speaking under the condition of anonymity, said the organization "was attacked by hackers believed to be connected to a foreign government, resulting in the loss of emails and other documents."

Meanwhile, the IMF has been trying to reverse economic troubles in Europe and seeking a replacement for its former leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of sexually assaulting a maid in New York. Strauss-Kahn denies the charges.

Recently, there seems to be either a heightened level of activity from hackers or just a more publicly reported string of attacks.

Bank of America and Citibank have each reported that user accounts have been breached.

Hackers disabled Sony's PlayStation and Qriocity online entertainment networks, accessing more than 100 million user accounts, as well the Sony Pictures website and other sites belonging to the Japanese tech giant.

This month, Google accused the Chinese government of breaking into Gmail user accounts, including some used by U.S. government officials.

And last fall, numerous attacks against financial institutions and retailers took place in retaliation for companies refusing to do business with the website WikiLeaks.

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LulzSec claims it hit Nintendo before FBI-related hacking

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: John Lipsky, the acting managing director of the International Monetary Fund, center, speaks in Beijing on Thursday. Credit: Raul Vasquez / Bloomberg

 
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