On Wednesday, January 29, UN officials reported that in the middle of last year, the organization’s offices in Geneva and Vienna underwent a “well-funded” cyber attack. As a result of the incident, the attackers managed to gain access to some accounts, but the attack was localized.
Several UN offices are located in Geneva, including the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization. Vienna hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Office for Drugs and Crime.
According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, it’s still difficult to say who is behind the attack, but the attack itself was well organized and, obviously, funded. “As a result, the components of key infrastructure in Geneva and Vienna were compromised, and the attack itself was considered serious,” Dujaric quoted Reuters.
According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the servers compromised by the attackers did not contain any sensitive or confidential data. Hackers managed to infiltrate the Active User Directory, where the identification numbers of employees and devices were stored, but they could not steal passwords or gain access to other parts of the system.