Officials at the United Nations reportedly discovered last August that hackers had compromised its IT systems in Geneva and Vienna last summer, but the cyber espionage attack remained undisclosed until it was revealed on Wednesday in an exposé by The New Humanitarian (TNH).
TNH, which once operated under the auspices of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, learned of the incident after obtaining an internal UN alert, dated Sept. 20, 2019, which shared certain details of the hack. A copy of the alert, which was prepared by the UN Office at Geneva, was subsequently shared with the Associated Press.
The sophisticated attack reportedly affected multiple servers in the main UN offices in Geneva and Vienna, plus the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights headquarters in Geneva. Stéphane Dujarric, UN spokesperson for the secretary-general, reportedly acknowledged to TNH that the hack affected "core infrastructure components." These components reportedly included human resources, printing, antivirus, user and password management, system controls and security firewalls.
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