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Sophisticated UN hack raises suspicions of state backing

National News // Jan. 30, 2020

It’s emerged the UN’s IT system was hacked last summer – but the organization decided not to publicize the incursion at the time.

Pixabay Sophisticated UN hack raises suspicions of state backing

Some data protection advocates say that was a mistake.

A report in the New Humanitarian says the UN systems in Geneva and Vienna were compromised last July. The attack was sophisticated which raises suspicions it could have been state backed.

One UN IT worker says it was a major meltdown.

An IT lawyer says the decision to keep quiet about the attack was ‘professionally irresponsible’. Sean McDonald told the New Humanitarian the UN fundamentally misread the seriousness of the situation.

The UN’s legal status means it is not obliged to report IT breaches – unlike companies.

One official speaking anonymously says around 400 GB of data was downloaded.

 

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