Friday, November 5, 2010

Hackers Break into OECD Computer System

Via -

The OECD, the Paris-based club of the world's 33 richest countries, has been successfully hacked by people looking for sensitive information on money laundering, high-level corruption and tax evasion.

OECD spokesman Stephen Di Biasio told EUobserver by phone from France on Thursday (4 November) that the body first detected "unusual" activity in its IT network in August and is still battling to get malware out of its computers three months later despite calling in help from the French security services and private cyber-defence companies.

"We've got a team trying to close down their points of entry, but we're not in a position today to say we've cleared them out of our system," he said.

"What we know is it's quite a sophisticated attack. We've got quite high levels of security protocols at the OECD and this has been able to bypass those security measures ... What we are seeing is that it's not a destructive attack. It's obviously fishing for information. Because the OECD works in such a broad array of areas, they are searching around to see what they can get."

Mr Di Biasio said the malware appears to have got in via a USB memory stick and that the attacks are coming from "different geographical areas, quite a few points in Asia." He was unable to say if the assault involves a government or a private entity.

"The suspicion is it came in via USB keys. Our agents travel around the world. They often go to conferences - there are exchanges of information, exchanges of USB keys."

The OECD describes itself as a body which "brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy." It collects economic data and conducts inter-governmental talks on issues including high-level government and corporate corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Its members include 20 EU countries, as well as Canada, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.

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