Sophisticated hackers infiltrated UN offices in Geneva and Vienna last year apparently in an espionage operation and so far it is unknown how much data they managed to extract, according to a confidential report leaked to The New Humanitarian and to which it had Access The Associated Press.
The report says that dozens of servers were compromised, including one from the United Nations Human Rights Office, a frequent critic of autocratic governments for denouncing their abuses.
A UN official told the AP that the hacking, initially detected in the middle of last year, seemed “complex” and the magnitude of the damage was unclear, especially in terms of personal, secret or compromising information that may have occurred. been stolen The official, who spoke about the episode under the condition of anonymity, said that since then the systems have been strengthened.RELATED
The level of skill was such that the author could be supported by some State, the official said.
As for the severity of the raid, there are contrasting versions.
“We were hacked,” said the spokesman for the human rights office, Rupert Colville. “Every day they try to penetrate our computer systems. This time they succeeded, but they didn’t get too far. They did not get confidential material. ”
Penetration in the human rights office was apparently limited to the so-called active directory – personnel lists with email addresses – but without access to passwords.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in an email that the attack “compromised core components of the infrastructure” of the offices in Geneva and Vienna and “was determined to be serious.”
He wrote that the servers attacked in Geneva were part of a “developing environment and contained non-confidential data from two servers used for the development of network applications.”