Reports have been confirmed that the United Nations has been hacked. Accorded to the Associated Press, “dozens of servers were compromised at its offices in Geneva and Vienna.” One of the offices, the United Nations human rights office, has been under fire with criticism for calling out rights abuse against autocratic governments.
Something strange has been going on with the U.N. because this hack originated in the summer of last year. It was kept top secret until reporters unveiled the reports. The information was leaked to The New Humanitarian.
A U.N. official told reporters the hack was “sophisticated.” They also had no information on how much damage was done to their systems or what was stolen from the systems. The official confirmed their computer systems are now reinforced. “The level of sophistication was so high that it was possible a state-backed actor might have been behind it,” the official stated.
The U.N. is shady because different accounts do not add up. First, some say it happened in the summer of last year. Others say it just happened. All of those who now know about it know the U.N. was trying to cover it up.
Human Rights office spokesman Rubert Colville stated, “We were hacked. 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.”
Colville made the hacking sound like there was nothing wrong. Stephane Dujarric, who is also a U.N. spokesperson, sent out an email informing the hack “resulted in a compromise of core infrastructure components,” and it was “determined to be serious.”
Dujarric also wrote in the email, “The world body does not have enough information to determine who might have been behind the incursion. The methods and tools used in the attack indicate a high level of resource, capability, and determination.”
This is a case of who do you believe? There are so many compromising statements that make the U.N. just as resourceful as the news media. The only difference is this time, the news media which are linked to the most reliable sources are reporting the so-called “leaked” information. In other words, information which was not intended to get out to the public. But why? What are they hiding?
The email from Dujarric continued, “The damage related to this specific attack has been contained, and additional mitigation measures implemented. Nevertheless, the threat of future attacks continues, and the United Nations Secretariat detects and responds to multiple attacks of various levels of sophistication on a daily basis.”
But let’s go even more profound. The U.N. Office of Information and Technology put forth an internal document that stated, 42 servers were deemed “compromised,” and an additional 25 were “suspicious.” This is the total number of all the U.N. offices in Geneva and Vienna.
Of the “compromised” servers, there were three which were from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and two were from the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe. Jake Williams, CEO of data firm Rendition Infosec and a former U.S. government hacker, gave his opinion stating, “The intrusion definitely looks like espionage.”
Williams added, “The attackers have a goal in mind and are deploying malware to machines that they believe serve some purpose for them.”
Williams also explained how the most skilled hackers do not leave traces behind with their tracks. When they get inside the systems, they will edit, not erase logs. What the hackers took out of the systems, they deleted. This may show the hackers were amateurs and not skilled agents from the United States, Russia, or China.
Leaving behind their trace is a mortal sin in the hacker world, not to mention stupid. Passwords were changed, and precautions were taken to stop any more hackers from entering the systems. Technicians worked seven days a week for months to secure all the systems and data.
The U.N. requested the United States government to check into a hack into the smartphone of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and owner of The Washington Post. It was announced by the New York Times’s bureau chief in Beirut, Ben Hubbard, the hacks on Bezos phone, and the U.N. happened within the same time frame. Saudi Arabia was suspected at the time.
Another official contradicted statements by saying, “It’s as if someone were walking in the sand, and swept up their tracks with a broom afterward. There’s not even a trace of a clean-up.” Sounds fishy.