A leaked confidential report from the United Nations revealed that dozens of servers belonging to United Nations were “compromised” at offices in Geneva and Vienna.
An internal confidential report from the United Nations that was leaked to The New Humanitarian revealed that dozens of servers of the organization were “compromised” at offices in Geneva and Vienna.
One of the offices that were hit by a sophisticated cyber attack is the U.N. human rights office, the hackers were able to compromise active directory and access a staff list and details like e-mail addresses. According to the report, attackers did not access passwords.
“One U.N. official told the AP that the hack, which was first detected over the summer, appeared “sophisticated” and that the extent of the damage remains unclear, especially in terms of personal, secret or compromising information that may have been stolen.” reported the Associated Press, which has seenthe report.
The level of sophistication of the attack and the specific nature of the target suggests the involvement of a nation-state actor.
“We were hacked,” declared U.N. human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville. “We face daily attempts to get into our computer systems. This time, they managed, but it did not get very far. Nothing confidential was compromised.”
The report states that at least 42 servers were “compromised,” three of them belonged to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Experts suspect that another 25 servers located at the United Nations offices in Geneva and Vienna were also compromised.
“Technicians at the United Nations office in Geneva, the world body’s European hub, on at least two occasions worked through weekends in recent months to isolate the local U.N. data center from the Internet, re-write passwords and ensure the systems were clean.” continues AP News.
The U.N. confidential report speculates that attackers could have exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Sharepoint.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.